Title: The Bear That Heard Crying
Author: Natalie Kinsey-Warnock and Helen Kinsey
Major Themes: Pioneers, Survival, Picture Books, US History 1783-1860
Synopsis: When a little girl wandered away from her pioneer family’s home into the forests of New Hampshire, how could she survive until she was found?
Many years ago, we read the book Sarah Whitcher’s Story. We have reread it several times since then, because we love the story so much, and the way it shows Sarah’s family’s faith in God. I just found a picture book that tells the same story. The Bear That Heard Crying does not have the same element of faith that the chapter book does, but the pictures are wonderful! They really bring this old account to life.
Sarah was only three years old, so when her parents decided to walk to Uncle Chase’s house, they left her home with the older children. She wanted to go along, however, and followed them—but got off the trail and was soon lost in the forest. No one realized she was missing until Papa and Mama reached home in the evening and she wasn’t there. Where was the little girl?
Sarah was afraid when she couldn’t find her way back to the trail, but when a big black “dog” came out of the forest to her, she snuggled up to it’s warm, shaggy coat to stay warm all night. All the people from miles around came to help search for the missing child. After three days of looking and calling, they were ready to give up—but Sarah’s mother pled for one more day of searching, even after Sarah’s footprints were found with a bear’s. Would they ever find her?
There are some differences in details between the two books, but the basic storyline is the same. We really liked The Bear That Heard Crying, even if it is missing the element of God’s providence and care for His people. The pictures are wonderful. I love the way the mothers are dressed, and little Sarah is very cute! This would be a great book to have on any child’s shelf.
Read Aloud—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9