The Bear That Wasn't

by: Frank Tashlin

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The Bear That Wasn't by Frank Tashlin / ISBN 9781590173442 / 64-page hardcover from The New York Review Children’s Collection

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“Once upon a time, in fact it was Tuesday,” the Bear went into the woods to settle in for his long winter nap. But when he awoke what had happened? The trees were gone, the grass was gone, the flowers were gone, and in their place were buildings, cars, a fenced-off courtyard. The Bear had no idea that he was in the middle of a factory. “Get back to work!” a man yelled out of the blue.

“I don’t work here,” said the Bear, “I’m a bear.” The man laughed and laughed. “Fine excuse for a man to keep from doing any work—saying he’s a bear.” And so it began and so it went, with the Bear protesting his bearness all the way from the Third Vice President to the First, and no one willing to believe that he wasn’t just a silly man in a fur coat who needed a shave.

How the bear endured and how he finally prevailed are the subject of this delightful modern fairy tale—beautifully illustrated with the author’s inventive line drawings—about sticking up for yourself, no matter how many Foremen, General Managers, Vice Presidents, or even Company Presidents stand in your way.