Father Bear comes home (An I can read book) (Weekly Reader)

by Else Holmelund Minarik

Paper Book, 1959



Call number




Harper & Row (1959), 62 pages


Describes the adventures of Little Bear in which he goes fishing, has the hiccups, looks for a mermaid, and welcomes Father Bear home from the sea.

User reviews

LibraryThing member seoulful
A very gentle children's reader about a loving, courteous bear family. A tender interaction between the family members and friends that makes the book a delight for adults as well as young children.
LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Father Bear, who was not to be seen in Else Holmelund Minarik's Little Bear, the first of five beginning readers devoted to the childhood adventures of its eponymous ursine hero, appears in this second installment of the series, adding another layer of complexity, and bringing a different tone to
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the home and family life being depicted. Like its predecessor, there are four short stories here, beginning with Little Bear and Owl, which sees the first mention of the paternal figure, a fisherman who is often out at sea, and draws a comparison between father and son. In the titular Father Bear Comes Home, the long-awaited return actually occurs, and Little Bear, who has been telling all his friends about his father's likely adventures, discovers that some of what he hoped for (the actual return of his father) is fulfilled, while some (the appearance of a little mermaid) is not. Hiccups sees Little Bear suffering from that classic childhood complaint, and, after finding that none of his friends' suggestions for ridding himself of it are effective, being cured by his father's novel approach to the problem. Finally, Little Bear's Mermaid involves a river-side picnic with bear family and friends, and a continued preoccupation with mermaids.

Published in 1959, two years after the first Little Bear book, Father Bear Comes Home is (like all five titles in this series) a treasured memento from my reading childhood. Having recently been prompted to reread Little Bear by The Picture-Book Club to which I belong, where our theme this month is "Classic Picture-Book Characters," I thought I would track down the entire series, and revisit the pleasures of early girlhood. I was bemused to note Father Bear's approach to curing hiccups - a combination of reverse psychology and shouting - here, as I had no memory of it. Other scenes, such as the heartwarming moment when Little Bear is first enfolded in his papa's loving arms, came rushing back to me. As mentioned in my review of Little Bear, these gentle stories perfectly capture the rhythms of child life, and show a delightful sympathy for and understanding of the child perspective. They are frequently humorous, but never snide or condescending. The artwork, contributed by the brilliant Maurice Sendak, is completely charming, highlighting the emotional undercurrents in the text, and drolly accentuating the humor of the characters' interaction.

In sum: a wonderful book, one that, together with its companions, is fully deserving of the accolades it has won. Recommended in the strongest possible terms to all beginning readers!
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LibraryThing member Whisper1
Continuing on my quest to read and study both the books/illustrations of Sendak and to learn more of the man behind the drawings, I find those that he writes, for the most part are heavy in topic and quite interesting in their story.

This is an early book, written in 1959. It is interesting to note
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that the cover does not note the term illustrations, rather it states the pictures are by Sendak.

Timely also is the depiction of the bear family, analogous to the American father of the 1950's.

Victorian like in clothing, the bears are dressed in that time frame. Little bear has many friends who iddyllically stroll along with the love of simple things.

When little bear notes he wants to fish just like his father, his animal friends share in his fantasy of the mermaid his father will bring home.

Alas when father returns without a mermaid the animal friends create an image of one they see.

In the second story, Little Bear has the hic ups. Various methods are used to stop this condition. The only thing that eventually works is when Little Bear's father, who is sitting in his chair reading the paper, becomes irate with the interruptions of noise.

As in the 1950's, the father rules the house. He has the right to demand silence. Through fear, Little Bear stops the hic cup. Father bear demands he try to hic cup and behold, Little Bear cannot
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LibraryThing member Bookish59
Another sweet addition to the Little Bear series. In this one Little Bear's mom sends him on an errand which he completes with help from Owl. Soon Little Bear's dad returns home from fishing, and Little Bear's friends think that Dad has a mermaid with him. Little Bear hiccups and his friends try to
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get him to stop but their noise disturbs Dad.

Minarik uses simple words again and again to familiarize young and new readers. Her books are filled with respect shown by Little Bear to his mother and father, and between Little Bear and his friends. Kindness and sympathy are highlighted as well when Little Bear's friends attempt to stop his hiccups.

And love is also displayed between the Bear family, and Little Bears friends.

Little Bear is a very good role model for both young and older readers!
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