#566 – Bear’s Big Bottom by Steve Stallman & Emma Yarlett

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Welcome to day 7. For this last day of Children’s Book Week 2014, Kid Lit Reviews presents Capstone, a dynamic publisher well-known for their children’s books. Yesterday, Chronicle Books sponsored Lately Lily: The Adventures of a Travelling Girl. There is still time to win Lately Lily, or any of the other prizes showcased this week.. Today, Capstone presents Bear’s Big Bottom by Steve Smallman & Emma Yarlett. To WIN this hilarious new picture book LEAVE A COMMENT! Then, CLICK HERE for EXTRA ENTRIES!   And as an extra bonus, Capstone is offering Lost Little Penguin to three winners! Kidlit is such a generous genre. 

Now, KLR present’s Bear’s Big Bottom!


bears big bottom.

Bear’s Big Bottom

by Steve Stallman & Emma Yarlett

Capstone Young Readers           2/1/2014


Age 4 to 8          32 pages


“Bear was friendly / Bear was sweet / The nicest bear you’d ever meet! / With little paws and little feet / And a very BIG bear bottom!

Poor Bear! His bottom is causing chaos…Bump! Crash! Splat! Soon Bear is in great big trouble! Can he ever make it up to his friends? A hilarious story of bottoms, bears, and animal friends that will have children giggling at Bear’s bottom-based mishaps. From children’s favourite Steve Smallman, author of Smelly Peter, the Great Pea Eater and The Monkey with A Bright Blue Bottom.”

The Story

Bear was your average bear. He was big and his friends could find him most anywhere. The only thing unusual about Bear was the size of his bottom. Bear’s bottom was so BIG . . . he completely filed the couch, squishing his friends. Bear’s bottom was so BIG . . . he jumped into the pool and the water all flew out. Then one day, Bear’s bottom was so BIG . . . it smashed a birthday cake and ruined the day. Bear felt so sad he ran away. Bear wouldn’t ruin anything else. Bear’s friends tried to find him, but all they found was a very hungry fox. If they didn’t find Bear soon, the fox would eat all of their bottoms.


I like Bear’s Big Bottom. Bear is a nice bear and has some nice friends who are tolerant of his big bottom, until his big bottom breaks the camel’s birthday cake. It was actually squirrel’s cake, but the point is, they couldn’t take Bear’s big bottom anymore and told his just that. Not exactly nice of Bear’s friends to say what they said, but sometimes patience runs thin. Any kid who is different, for any reason, understands Bear’s plight. Good friends will tolerate your differences, but even good friends have a breaking point, not usually all at the same time, which is what helps keep a group of friends together.

I like that the group conscious got the better of Bear’s friends and they went looking for him. Conflict must ensue in a good story and so enters the fox, ready to eat their bottoms. The group of friends need Bear’s help. Do you think bear went to help? Bear is a good friend. Good friends stick up for each other, especially if picked on by someone outside of their group.

1 review

Originally published in Great Britain by Little Tiger Press (2013), Bear’s Big Bottom came to America and Capstone written in English. I was surprised to learn that an entire verse was changed. In the U.S. the verse reads:

In fact, Bear’s bottom was so wide

it filled the couch from side to side!

“We’re getting squished!” Bear’s friends all cried.

“Because of Bear’s big bottom!”

The original verse, as written by Steve Smallman, the author, reads:

“But when they tried to watch TV

Bear’s bottom filled the whole settee

And no one could sit comfortably

Because of Bear’s big bottom!”

I’m guessing the problem word is “settee,” meaning a sofa. It’s too bad those who made this decision where shortsighted in thinking no one would understand a settee is a sofa, upon which one sets their bottom. What happened to looking up unknown words, expanding one’s vocabulary, using a dictionary? Do kids no longer do any of those things? Beside the change for settee’s sake, the verse went from an original rhyme scheme (TV, settee, comfortably), to an easy scheme (wide, side, cried). Personally, I much prefer the original verse. The words are punchy (“pop-pop-pop-pop!”), like all the other verses.

Bear’s Big Bottom is a terrific book for anyone who is different or has a “different” friend. Some differences, like a big bottom, should not make friends go away. Everyone is different in some way; just not all are as obvious, or as intrusive, as Bear’s BIG bottom. Most people like being around others like themselves, not someone who is different. The animals show that being with someone different may, one day, save your bottom. This hilarious, brightly illustrations show wide-eyed animals often in spreads running full width. The cockeyed ending will tickle funny bones. Your little one may want you to reread Bear’s Big Bottom from the top. Let the author help. His reading of Bear’s Big Bottom is hilariously entertaining, but then, these are his characters.

BEAR’S BIG BOTTOM. Tex copyright © 2013 by Steve Smallman. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Emma Yarlett. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Capstone Young Readers, North Mankato, MN.

Buy Bear’s Big Bottom at AmazonB&NCapstoneyour local bookstore.

Learn more about Bear’s Big Bottom HERE

Meet the author, Steve Smallman, at his website:

Meet the illustrator, Emma Yarlett, at her website:   http://www.emmayarlett.com/

Find more books at the Capstone website:   http://www.capstoneyoungreaders.com/

Capstone Young Readers is an imprint of Capstone.


Also by Steve Smallman

Big, Bad Owl

Big, Bad Owl

Dr Duck

Dr Duck






Also by Emma Yarlett

Orion and the Dark

Orion and the Dark

My Daddy's Going Away

My Daddy’s Going Away






This is it. The LAST DAY you can ENTER TO WIN Bear’s Big Bottom or any of the other prizes seen this week, by LEAVING A COMMENT. In addition to all the those prizes, Capstone is also giving away Lost Little Penguin by Tracey Corderoy —

“When Plip the penguin loses his favorite toy, it seems like the end of the world! As the sky grows dark, Plip runs off to find it, all on his own. What will become of poor little Plip, out in the snowy storm?”

 So let’s recap one final time. Here is what YOU CAN WIN!How to Enter? LEAVE A COMMENT and then  CLICK HERE for EXTRA  ENTRIES!

  • A 3-month subscription to Farfaria – online library of children’s books.
  • The Monster Needs His Sleep – from Scarletta Kids, by Paul Czajak, illustrated by Wendy Grieb
  • Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew: The Super-Secret – from Melissa Productions, by Melissa Perry Moraja
  • Lately Lily, the Adventures of a Traveling Girl – from Chronicle Books, by Micah Player
  • Bear’s Big Bottom – from Capstone Books, by Steve Smallman, illustrated by Emma Yarlett
  • The Shark Whisperer – from Scarletta Junior Readers, by Dr. Ellen Prager, illustrations by Antonio Javier Caparo

lost little penguin.


Lost Little Penguin – from Capstone Books, by Tracey Corderoy.

WIN Bear’s Big Bottom by LEAVING A COMMENT below this review. For additional entries, and MORE CHANCES TO WIN Lost Little Penguin, and other wonderful children’s books, CLICK HERE TO WIN!
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bears big bottom

22 thoughts on “#566 – Bear’s Big Bottom by Steve Stallman & Emma Yarlett

  1. Pingback: #865 – Nibbles the Book Monster by Emma Yarlett | Kid Lit Reviews

  2. Ok, is it bad that the title made me giggle? I bet it would make most kids giggle too. Sounds like a great underlying message and I love the illustrations. Saying hello from the Kid Lit Blog Hop (I know … I’m a late hopper… sigh…)


  3. What a fun story! I love the illustrations and I think bear is perfect just the way he is! 🙂


  4. this sounds like a great book and I can see my little guy laughing about “bears big butt” the whole time…butts are very popular right now. Thansk for sharing.


  5. This sounds like a very cute book, and unfortunately, I can relate to Bear’s big bottom and being unaware of how WIDE it is! lol And I happen to like the original AND the Americanized verse, though I do agree—kids need to learn words! They did it for Harry Potter, so why not this, right? There’s the Brit version and the American version, changing words according to culture, like items of clothing, just like this piece of furniture.


  6. Unfortunate about the settee verse. I don’t think a dictionary would’ve even been needed. That’s why kids learn to use picture cues and context cues when they read. The settee would’ve been in the illustration.


  7. Yep, I like Bear, big bottom problems and all. This is a cool book. I think kids should look up words in a story. I know that I write that way, on purpose, so kids can learn new words and meanings.


    • OMG, I am a week behind. Probably writing somethings no one will read. You purposely make kids look up words in a dictionary? Oh, my you are the sneaky one. Here I thought it was that fellow guy down below. I expected the settee to break once Bear’s big bottom sat down. 😀


  8. What a wonderful story!

    I must admit, however, that I prefer the U.S. rewrite. It rolls off the tongue more easily and raises the stakes by providing an anguished quote from Bear’s friends.


    • Yeah, what would a fellow writer, as in fella, know about . . . oh, sorry, you are an author yourself. Many pardons. I remember you. You wanted to know the one story we’ve not told others. Sneaky fella. Welcome to KLR, my neck of the Internet woods. I hope you don’t get lost going home and leave a popcorn trail so as to visit once again. :grin:.


  9. Wow, poor Bear, and his big bottom, and I too would prefer the original verse. I agree, kids should look words up, they look up everything else on the magic google, lol. Just stopping by to send you a big hello from the Children’s Book Week Giveaway Hop. Hope you had a great week.


    • Hi Julie! So glad you came. So sorry I am so behind in my replies. Would you know what a settee is? If nothing else, I think the author’s words, once published, should not be changed if at all possible, in translation. This story was already in English. 😦


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