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Children's Fiction Birthdays

A Birthday for Bear

Candlewick Sparks

by (author) Bonny Becker

illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton

Candlewick Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2013
Birthdays, Friendship, Humorous Stories
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2013
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 5 to 9
  • Grade: k to 4


“The winning stars of A Visitor for Bear make a return engagement.” — School Library Journal

Bear does not like birthdays. He doesn’t like parties or balloons, cards or candles. In fact, Bear does not like anything to do with birthdays at all. He would much rather spend his birthday alone cleaning his house, but Mouse, small and gray and bright-eyed, has other ideas. With a perfectly paced story by Bonny Becker paired with Kady MacDonald Denton’s slapstick visual comedy, A Birthday for Bear welcomes young listeners to the party with artwork ideal for sharing.

Candlewick Sparks are perfect for the newly independent reader:
* Award-winning stories by top authors & illustrators
* Short, engaging chapters
* Vibrant illustrations
* Welcoming design
* Rich vocabulary

About the authors

Bonny Becker's profile page

Kady MacDonald Denton has illustrated more than forty picture books, including the New York Times bestseller A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker, and A SECOND IS A HICCUP by Hazel Hutchins. She lives in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Please visit her website at

Kady MacDonald Denton's profile page

Editorial Reviews

With a nicely cadenced text in four short chapters, wonderfully fresh ink-and-watercolor illustrations, and a funny climax, this story works equally well for young independent readers or as a read-aloud for younger children.

Mouse draws upon the sheer force of his cheery goodwill to chip away at Bear’s resolve, ultimately succeeding…Reads as a well-pitched combination of humorous dialogue and omniscient commentary.
—Kirkus Reviews

Whimsical full-color ink and watercolor illustrations hilariously depict the yin and yang of enormous, cantankerous Bear and tiny, merry Mouse. A sprinkling of colorful, out-of-the-ordinary vocabulary words and phrases adds welcome spice to the narrative. Fluent early readers will be pulled into this title by the appeal of its universal subject, entertaining characters, and the satisfying story.
—School Library Journal

Other titles by Bonny Becker

Other titles by Kady MacDonald Denton