“I Have a Little Problem”, Said the Bear

The bear has a problem and absolutely everyone has the perfect remedy. The only trouble is, they’re all in such a hurry to help, they have no time to find out what the bear’s problem is. Everyone knows how it feels not to be listened to — especially children.

2 thoughts on ““I Have a Little Problem”, Said the Bear

  1. Mary says:

    “I Have a Little Problem”, Said the Bear is an Austrian picture book by Heinz Janisch. I loved the book and I think many children would enjoy it as well. The story is about a bear who visits several different people to talk about his problem. Each person thinks they have a solution for him before hearing his problem. The fact that the main character is a bear and most of the others are humans is interesting but something I think children would enjoy. The book also addresses the issue of perspective. Each person thinks the bear has a different need based on what they can do for him. For example, the hatter decides a new hat is just the thing to fix the bear’s problems.

    The book’s whimsical illustrations are the perfect complement to the story. They are attractive and clever. For example, the tailor’s hat is actually a thimble. The book also uses repetition to underscore the bear’s dilemma (which in addition to his problem is that no one will actually listen to him), a feature of many picture books. Finally, one of the book’s main themes is the frustration of having no one listening to you, which the book jacket describes as an issue that children will easily identify with. Indeed the bear is a relatable character for young readers. It is interesting that his frustration is universal. Though the book is Austrian, one would not know that simply from reading the story.

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