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Q: Favorite Children's Book About Baby Bear and a Mother Bear ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Favorite Children's Book About Baby Bear and a Mother Bear
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: klsh-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 14 Oct 2004 07:06 PDT
Expires: 13 Nov 2004 06:06 PST
Question ID: 414728
Looking for a children's book, a childhood favorite of a friend.
Timeframe would be 1971-1977 approximately, it may have been published
before then.

Plot concerned a baby bear, a momma bear (mommy bear) and the baby
bear was getting in trouble.

Repeated phrase of the mother bear was "sometimes you're good, and
sometimes you're bad" or something similar.

The baby bear may have eaten honey he was not supposed to at
somepoint, and was chided for this. His concern was that he wasn't
loved because of this but the mother bear told him he was.

Both bears were black bears. Water may have been involved as well, and
his reluctance to take a bath, in a stream.

I want the book's title, author and if available link to online shop
selling this book.

Request for Question Clarification by hummer-ga on 14 Oct 2004 08:36 PDT
Hi klsh,

There is a "Little Bear" series by Else Holmelund Minarik, illustrated
by Maurice Sendak, which is a classic. See if your friend recognizes
the illustration of Mama and Little Bear on the cover of this book at
Amazon. There are other books in the series and many editions ("Little
Bear"was first published in 1957).

Little Bear:

"This is the first I Can Read Book ever, and the first of five classic
Little Bear books, expressly designed for beginning readers. Elsa
Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak teamed up to create these simple
stories that are deeply comforting and lovingly playful. In one story,
"Birthday Soup," Little Bear cannot find his mother and presumes she
has forgotten his birthday. With the prospect of guests arriving and
no cake in sight, he sets out to make birthday soup (all his friends
like soup). Just as the gathering is sitting down for soup, Mother
Bear shows up with a big, beautiful birthday cake. "I never did forget
your birthday, and I never will," she says to her son as he hugs her
leg. In "Little Bear Goes to the Moon," Little Bear declares that he
will fly to the moon in his new space helmet. Mother Bear tells him to
be back by lunch, and he is. The gentle, teasing repartee between
Little Bear and his mother will delight young readers, and the
spacious layout and large type will encourage them to keep on reading!
(Ages 4 to 8) "

I can't seem to find where little bear is always getting into trouble,
but it's worth a try.  If your friend thinks his book was part of this
series, let me know and I'll research the series further. In the
meantime, I'll see if I can find another possibility. Does your friend
remember any other details? Anything about the illustrations? For what
age group?


Clarification of Question by klsh-ga on 14 Oct 2004 11:41 PDT
mother bear = mommy!
baby bear = ??? name

baby bear did something, he took off. wandered. 
mommy bear couldn't find him.

one illustration had water and rocks, he was found by the water where
he was playing. "I must scold you" said mommy bear (scold was word)

baby bear said something about being bad, and mommy bear said
"sometimes yes sometimes no"

Love may have been in the Title of the book.

color illustrations

no clothes on the illustrations, they looked like natural bears. So
the 'Little Bear' series isn't likely.

also the story was set in the woods.

Cover was Yellow.

Request for Question Clarification by juggler-ga on 14 Oct 2004 22:04 PDT

Could it have been "Cubby's World" (1966)?

"Yellow Cloth Hardcover in Dust Jacket... Subtitled 'The Story of a
Baby Bear.' Chronicles the first year of a bear cub's life and the
lessons he learns."

There are scans of the cover and several pages from the book on this
Japanese web page:

A mother bear is involved in the story, as I can see that one of the
pages begins, "Cubby saw that his mother..."

Is this your book?

Clarification of Question by klsh-ga on 19 Oct 2004 06:36 PDT
I contacted the bookseller that has a copy of this book, this was
their description:
"Thanks for your inquiry about this book.  I'm not immediately certain
whether this is the right book or not.  Here are some things about it:
Cubby has a twin brother.  Their mother teaches them many things.  For
instance... 'Never run into the open field'  she told them.  'Men shoot
guns there...often someone is killed.  Keep to the woods and you will be
safe.' (Later his brother wanders into the open and is shot dead) 'He
will not come back,' she said.

There is a scene by the water:  'Cubby reached out his paw and touched
the wetness of the water.  He put down his head and drank.'

The mother bear does appear in a number of the illustrations.
Cubby learns that 'In the world, there is softness like my mother, and
there is hardness like ice, there is warmness like summer and there is
coldness like winter (etc)."

Cubby's twin brother, and his death in this book rules out this as the
book I am looking for.

Still looking!
Subject: Re: Favorite Children's Book About Baby Bear and a Mother Bear
Answered By: juggler-ga on 19 Oct 2004 22:02 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that your book was "Why Do
You Love Me?" (1970) by Mabel Watts.

A few reasons for my conclusion...

(1)  The cover of the book is yellow and depicts two bears not wearing
clothes. See a scan of the cover at

(2) The 1970 publication date is consistent with your recollection.

(3) In your initial description, you mentioned: "His concern was that he wasn't
loved because of this but the mother bear told him he was."

The title "Why Do You Love Me?" obviously fits perfectly with the
theme that you remember.

(4)  You mention phrases along the lines of "Sometimes you're good,
and sometimes you're bad" and "Sometimes yes, sometimes no."

Now read this description:

"Why Do You Love Me? Watts, Mabel. Racine, Wisconsin: Western
Publishing Company, Inc., 1970. Billy, a small bear cub, explores all
the aspects of the question ``Why do you love me?'' with his mother.
In their pursuit of the answer, they explore the positive and negative
aspects of the mother bear's answers."

"Positive and negative aspects of the mother bear's answers" would
seem to comport with your recollection.

The book is available beginning at $2.95 on

search strategy:
"children's books" "bear cub" "his mother"

I hope this is the right book. If you have any reason to believe that
it's not the right book, please let me know via the "request
clarification" feature and we'll go back to the drawing board. Thanks.
klsh-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks! This was the book, Ijust got a 'fine' used copy of it and I am
glad you could help.

There are no comments at this time.

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