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The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward

The Biggest Bear (1952)

by Lynd Ward

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A young boy goes off on a bear hunt, determined to bring home a hide to hang on the side of the barn, but ends up rescuing an orphaned cub instead. As the bear grows larger, so do the problems it causes, until a hard decision must be made. The illustrations are very realistic, somewhat reminiscent of Robert McCloskey's work, but Ward never comes as close to cuteness as McCloskey does. Lynd Ward is sort of the father of the graphic novel, having produced six wordless novels comprised solely of woodcuts, in the 1930's, as well as a "story in pictures" - The Silver Pony for children. He also illustrated many juvenile books including the first edition of Johnny Tremain. ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Apr 6, 2018 |
The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward is a children's picture book about a boy named Johnny Orchard. Johnny embarks on a journey to find a bearskin for the family barn and comes home with an unexpected friend.

The book is full of black and white, realistic illustrations. We loved the adventure and emotion.

Follow along in this exciting and engaging story to see what Johnny will do with his new found joy as time changes everything.

5***** ( )
  Mischenko | Nov 30, 2017 |
A boy heads to the woods determined to get the biggest bear. He finds an orphaned bear cub, which he takes home to raise. The problems begin and only get worse when the bear grows big!
  wunderlong88 | Aug 31, 2017 |
Ward won the Caldecott for the detailed, sepia-toned, drawings that accompany this story.

Johnny Orchard lives on a farm at the far end of the valley, near a big woods. Whenever he walks down the road he notices that other barns have bear skins drying on their walls; he’s embarrassed that his family’s barn doesn’t have a bear skin. So he heads into the woods one day, with his rifle, determined to get the biggest bear.

What he finds, though is an orphaned bear cub, which he befriends with a piece of maple sugar candy. But when he brings the cub home, problems begin; and they only get worse when the bear grows B*I*G.

I think children might be intrigued by the adventure of the story, but I hope they wouldn’t feel encouraged to try to tame a wild animal. I was also somewhat dismayed by a scene where Johnny has to take his bear to the woods to kill it because it has become a nuisance. Don’t worry, he doesn’t ever actually do this, but he has every intention of doing so, and I find that disturbing in a children’s book.

The illustrations are wonderfully detailed. I kept looking at them, absorbing the farmhouse, barnyard, woods, etc. If I were rating the illustrations alone, I’d give the book 4****. ( )
  BookConcierge | Dec 7, 2016 |
The biggest bear is a book about a young boy who went hunting for bears, he found a baby bear and kept it, his family was not very happy about that. The bear grew and started to get in trouble more it started to eat the corn in the neighbors field and destroy the meat house. The family couldn't stand it, so the boy had to take the bear far away where he would not come back. The next morning the bear was back. The boy tried to bring the bear to faraway places but the bear kept coming back. One day the boy had to go out one more time and he had to shoot the bear but before he could shoot the bear the bear smelled something and ran off with the kid. They ran into a trap and the people who owned the trap heard from the boy that he needed to get rid of the bear so they brought the bear to the zoo. I like this book because the bear didn't have to die. I hope lots of people like this book because it tells a great story. The biggest bear is one of my favorite books. ( )
  CooperW8 | May 23, 2016 |
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Johnny Orchard lived on the farm farthest up the valley and closest to the woods.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0395150248, Paperback)

Johnny Orchard brings home a playful bear cub that soon becomes huge and a nuisance to the neighbors.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:34 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Johnny goes hunting for a bearskin to hang on his family's barn and returns with a small bundle of trouble.

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