Berlioz the Bear

Berlioz the Bear

by Jan Brett


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A "Reading Rainbow" Feature Title

Zum, zum, buzz.... zum, zum, buzz...

What's that strange buzz coming from the double bass? Berlioz has no time to investigate, because he and his bear orchestra are due at the gala ball in the village square at eight. But Berlioz is so worried about his buzzing bass that he steers the mule and his bandwagon full of magicians into a hole in the road and gets stuck.

Time is running out, and if a rooster, a cat, a billy goat, a plow horse, and an ox can't rescue the bandwagon, who can?

As the suspense mounts, intricate borders reveal the village animals making their way to the square one by one. When the clock chimes eight, the animals, ready to dance, have filled the square-but there's no sign of Berlioz.

Jan Brett's glorious illustrations invite the eye to linger over exquisite details and humorous nuances that enhance the story. This delightful cumulative tale is one that will be looked at again and again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780698113992
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 10/15/1996
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 276,150
Product dimensions: 8.13(w) x 10.25(h) x 0.12(d)
Lexile: 540L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

With over thirty four million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author illustrators of children's books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.

As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real."

As a student at the Boston Museum School, she spent hours in the Museum of Fine Arts. "It was overwhelming to see the room-size landscapes and towering stone sculptures, and then moments later to refocus on delicately embroidered kimonos and ancient porcelain," she says. "I'm delighted and surprised when fragments of these beautiful images come back to me in my painting."

Travel is also a constant inspiration. Together with her husband, Joe Hearne, who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jan visits many different countries where she researches the architecture and costumes that appear in her work. "From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japanese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as a starting point for my children's books."

Customer Reviews

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Berlioz the Bear 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
dangerlibearian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good read aloud/maybe a little long. A cart full of musicians get stuck in a hole, no one can pull them out, until a bee sting the mule and they are free.
fullerl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Berlioz and his band are due in town shortly for a performance. But something is wrong with Berlioz's bass! It is making a strange bussing sound. What is wrong? On tops of all that, their cart is stuck, their donkey won't pull, and they are sure to be late for their show! Plenty of folks stop by to help, each sure of their ability to solve Berlioz band¿s troubles. But no one can until...the buzzing bass turns out to be a buzzing bee! Fighting mad, the bee zooms out of the bass and stings the poor stubborn donkey right on the rump. The donkey takes off, moving so fast that the band arrives exactly on time for the show. Jan Brett's pictures are delightful with attention to details that uniquely transform the faces of animals into expressions decidedly human. A very fine story with a pleasingly humorous resolution.
RebeccaMichelet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Berlioz the bear is a musician who plays the double bass. One day while he was practicing for the concert, he noticed his bass making a strange buzzing sound. It was soon time to leave for the concert, and on the way there with the band, the wagon gets stuck in a hole. No matter what he does, Berlioz could not get the mule to move. One by one a different animal appears and tries to pull the mule up, but they all fail. Meanwhile, while the other animals try to get the mule to move, Berlioz and his orchestra got ready for the concert. It was while they were warming up, that a bee came out of the bass, and stung the mule. It was because of the bee, Berlioz and the orchestra was able to make it to the concert in time.
kerrik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Berlioz played the bass. He was in the orchestra, and they were supposed to play at a ball. There was a buzzing sound in his instrument. As the orchestra was in their wagon, the mule pulled them right into a hole. Many animals tried to help pull the mule, but he wouldn't budge. Finally, the bee came out of Berlioz's bass an stung the mule, causing it to pull the wagon out of the hole and to the ball on time. I loved the illustrations in this book. There were picture borders on every page. The fantasy in this book including talking animals and small animals doing manual labor was interesting. With my class, I could let the students work together to write a story and then illustrate it. Each student could get a page to draw a picture border. Another activity would be to act out this story.