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Children's Fiction Bears

Bear Wants to Sing

by (author) Cary Fagan

illustrated by Dena Seiferling

Initial publish date
Sep 2021
Bears, Music, Friendship
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2


Bear wants to sing his song, but the other animals won't give him a chance to perform his masterwork in this delightful picture book companion to the critically acclaimed King Mouse.

A bear finds a ukulele in the woods. It makes a nice sound -- PLINK! -- and inspires him to write his own song. His friend Mouse would love to hear it. But Bear isn't the only animal in the forest to find musical inspiration that day, and Snake, Crow and Tortoise keep taking his turn to perform. When they finally give him the opportunity and meet his song with less enthusiasm than he'd like, the discouraged bear shelves his music career forever . . . but the kindness, empathy and appreciation of his best friend will prove that his art deserves recognition and can even inspire others.

This dryly humorous and sweetly profound collaboration between two critically acclaimed children's book creators, a follow-up to the masterful King Mouse, has the makings of a modern classic.

About the authors

Cary Fagan is the author of eight previous novels and five books of short stories, including The Student, Great Adventures for the Faint of Heart, and A Bird's Eye. He has been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Writers' Trust Fiction Award, the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction, and has won the Toronto Book Award and the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Fiction. He is also an acclaimed writer of books for children, having won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, the IODE Jean Throop Book Award, a Mr. Christie Silver Medal, the Joan Betty Stuchner—Oy Vey!—Funniest Children's Book Award, and the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People. Fagan's work has been translated into French, Italian, German, Dutch, Spanish, Catalan, Turkish, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Korean and Persian. He still lives in his hometown of Toronto.

Cary Fagan's profile page

DENA SEIFERLING est une autrice et illustratrice d’albums qui jouit d’une grande renommée. Elle est également artiste de feutrage à l’aiguille et titulaire d’un baccalauréat en beaux-arts et en communication visuelle de l’Université des arts de l’Alberta, où elle travaille maintenant comme enseignante. Elle a signé les illustrations de La souris qui devint roi, album finaliste au Prix littéraire du Gouverneur général.


DENA SEIFERLING is a highly acclaimed picture book author and illustrator and needle-felt artist who graduated with a B.F.A. and Visual Communications Degree from the Alberta University of the Arts, where she now works as an instructor. She is the illustrator of King Mouse, which was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award, and its companion book Bear Wants to Sing. The Language of Flowers marked her exquisite debut as both author and illustrator.

Dena Seiferling's profile page


  • Short-listed, Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award
  • Nominated, Ezra Jack Keats New Writer/Illustrator Award

Editorial Reviews

"Sparkling whimsy . . . a delicate story full of humor and friendship." —STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

"This tender tale of creativity, manners, and nurturing friendship by the creators of King Mouse has all the makings of a contemporary classic." —STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly

"Bear Wants to Sing celebrates kindness and the joys of expressing yourself in the presence of those you love." —STARRED REVIEW, CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Other titles by Cary Fagan

Other titles by Dena Seiferling