At a mountain campfire, a storyteller tells children The Story of The Bear. It’s a story his grandfather told him long ago, and it’s a story he hopes the children will remember as they go through life.
The Story of The Bear portrays the untimely death of a beloved grandfather. While the book is filled with 24 colorful illustrations by Linda Shaw, it’s not a typical children’s picture book. Rather, it’s a book to help adult caregivers open a conversation with a child after a loved one has committed suicide.
Lisa Scheller wrote The Story of The Bear when her children were young to help them understand their grandfather’s suicide. She wanted them to know that their grandfather loved them, and that because of his declining health, he may have felt he had no other choice. But most of all, she wanted them to understand that he did have a choice, and that if one remembers to look farther, it’s possible that a kinder and gentler way may appear.
A writer and editor, Lisa Scheller earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas. Prior to her recent retirement, she wrote for a nonprofit educational foundation.
Linda Shaw has spent the majority of her life as an artist working in various art forms. Having illustrated 30 children’s books, she finds it challenging to interpret a storyteller’s characters and bring them to life, both for the author and the reader.