Friday, December 23, 2011

Sharing the Joy Double Feature: Review of Wise Bear William: A New Beginning by Arthur Wooten {Giveaway}

Sorry I'm late with the second part of today's double feature.  I just ran out of time today!

My thoughts:
This was such a lovely book.  I had absolutely no idea it would make me cry! I have a little story to tell you to explain why I cried.  In the process of moving last year, we were moving things from the attic and I had a box of cherished stuffed animals from when I was a child.  One of them was my teddy bear, Theodore, my first teddy bear that I received when I was a newborn baby.  When I looked at the box, I noticed that it was wet and when I opened it, horror awaited.  My teddy bear had gotten wet and had disintegrated into almost nothing.  I cried and cried.  Of course, the one leaky spot in the attic had to be above that box. =O(  So, when I got to a certain point in Wise Bear William, it made me think of that and also how much I loved my teddy when I was growing up.  For a children's book to evoke this kind of emotion in an adult is a powerful thing.  Now don't get me wrong.  The book is not meant to be sad and it's not sad, really.  It just caused that kind of reaction in me.

I read the book with my sons and they really liked it too.  They said their favorite characters were Calico Kitty and Wise Bear William and the parts they liked best were when Wise Bear William was chosen and how Rag Doll Rose looked after William fixed her up.  I was impressed with the book because it really kept their interest.  They are 9 and 10 so they are starting to outgrow this type of book, but it was written so well and kids can tell when a book is well written.

Wise Bear William is not a Christmas book, but it is a good book to read with your children at Christmas because it teaches that helping others is important and that rewards can come to you, even when you think all is lost.  Wise Bear William is the voice of hope throughout the book and hope is a good thing to read about during Christmas.  I highly recommend this book.

About the book:
by Arthur Wooten
Illustrated by Bud Santora
(December 2011)

"Wise Bear William is one of the most delightful books
   for young readers ever! Adults will enjoy it as well."

- Phylicia Rashad

(New York, NY, November 10, 2011) — In this beautiful and classic story penned by the critically acclaimed writer, Arthur Wooten, and illustrated by Emmy award winning designer, Bud Santora, toys long forgotten in an attic discover that children are coming up to rescue them.

All wanting to be picked, each toy examines their own self-described shortcomings and turn to one another for comfort and advice. But the most important thing they discover is that as much as you fix things up on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that really counts.

With an emotional and surprising ending for all the toys, this heartwarming and timeless tale of love and friendship is destined to become a favorite of young and old for years to come.

To learn more about author Arthur Wooten, visit his website.

Arthur is giving away one copy of Wise Bear William.  Open Internationally.  Please leave a comment telling me about a toy that meant the most to you while growing up.  You do not have to be a follower, but followers will receive one extra entry point.  Giveaway ends on Friday, January 6, 2012 at 11:59 pm CST.  Good luck!

Always in spirit....


  1. Michelle -

    Thank you...from the bottom of my heart and ... Wise Bear William's, Rag Doll Rose's, Bean Bag Bunny's and Calico Kitty's.

    Wishing you and your family and in particular your "boys" the Merriest of Christmas.

    Arthur Wooten

  2. Michelle, you are awesome. I don't know how you do all that you do...and so well!
    Nice review, very nostalgic.
    I loved my Raggedy Ann, but even more I was attached to my Lamb Chop toy! Lamb Chop was extra special to me.I can still see both in my heart.
    Thanks for the memories!

  3. Don't enter me in the giveaway, because I bought the book! It's a wonderful story and the illustrations are glorious. Arthur is a wonderful writer who taps into both the feeling of wonder that children have for toys, and that grown-ups have for their beloved childhood toys.
    Michelle, you proved the point with your story!
    Merry Christmas to all!

  4. Merry Christmas to everyone!

    When I was growing up, our family was living on medical intern's salary which was not that much in the 1950s. My father caught the bus and did a couple of transfers to get to the hospitals. My father made me a set of blocks in different shapes, like cyclinders, triangles, rectangles and squares and painted them different colors.
    I made so many things from those blocks: house, castles, and even ranches for my plastic farm animals. I loved that he was so busy and still took out time to make me something very special.

    +1 I am one of your followers.


  5. I'm so keeping my fingers crossed for this one.

    I remember one year I really wanted a Santa Bear (don't remember the company who made it anymore). I was at my grandma's for Christmas Eve and my aunt, who was just a little older than me got one, which made me very upset since my mom already told me I wasn't getting one. I started to cry, so my mom's boyfriend (don't remember his name naymore, sorry) walked me home. On the way there he told me I was getting one but I had to act suprised in the morning. I was able to go to sleep right away and when I when I went to the tree, that was the first thing I saw. I was so happy.

  6. Laughinglewis

    There was only ever one toy that I loved and it was my police bike that I called my "Nee Nar" as that was the noise police cars made and I wasn't good with words so a child so just to call things the the noise they made. Hence have a dog called "Woof it" and a duck called "Quckers" as childhood pets.

    I used to ride my Nee Nar up and down the street were I lived and used to scream Nee nar nee nar..... when ever I was using it.
    One of the people who live near us once knocked on the door and said he would pay me 50p to stop riding it past his house and turn around two doors before his house and go the other way. (of course i said yes) I wouldn't leave the house to go anywhere with it and so it just become clear to my Mum that it was always coming with us.

    On one trip to see my Little Mammer I got to ride the Nee Nar down the ramp to her house but again not being able to pronounce words I called the ramp a lamp so riding my Nee Nar down the Lamp was very exciting. My mum kept telling me to slow down as i was picking up speed but I forgot how to slow down so I just stuck my legs in the air and screamed the whole way down with my mum running down to catch me up. I ended up falling off at the bottom onto grass so I was ok but shaken up, worst of all my Nee Nar hit the wall and its wheel (or leg as I called it) snapped off.

    That was the end for Nee Nar and I remember thats the only time as child I remember felling lost and lonely. I used to cry sometimes because I missed it so much but I never told anyone that I sneaked the broken wheel out of the trash bin and kept it under my bed. I used to get it out now and again and smile at it and put it back. The funny thing is I think its still in one of boxes somewhere and as a grown up I have put it in the bin a few times when spring cleaning only to rush and get back hours later.

  7. My special soft toy is a koala bear. I can't even remember how old I was when it was given me but I was very young. I took it with me when I left home at 18. My mother said,"You're taking it with you!?" LOL..

    It's a funny looking thing. The limbs it had where not very pronounced so after lots of cuddles it ended up looking like a hard, rectangular furry pillow. When you burrow into the fur there is two eyes and a little triangle nose. I think it is actually made of rabbit or 'possum fur.

    I'm now 47 and I still got it! It now 'lives' wrapped up in my wardrobe. Occasionally I find it when I'm rummaging around in there and give it a little fond pat.

    Hmmm I think I'm going to go give "Koala" a cuddle right now! :)

  8. Hi,

    Would love to have "Wise Bear William", of course I would have to share with Prudence.

    Yes, we follow you and my most treasured toy was (of course) my Panda Bear, which I still have.



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