Reviews — The Story of The Bear

Dorthy Halley, LMSW, Victim Services Division Director, Office of Kansas Attorney General:
“Thank you so much for sharing The Story of The Bear with me and the Victim Services Division. What a beautiful tribute to “the original beloved bear”, and what a beautiful story to help children and people of all ages to consider the need to look hard enough, and far enough. We will have this book in our office for all staff’s use.”

Donna Leeder, suicide loss survivor:
The Story of The Bear naturally brought my emotions to the front. However, crying is a very good thing, because when I cry, afterward I feel just a bit better — releasing the emotion is so important. Thank you for sharing a tool that I know will help my grandchildren. The story is so beautifully written, and the illustrations are also wonderful. I plan to share The Story of The Bear at every possible opportunity, especially when I think it may help a child understand that in life we have choices, and that there is always a better choice and a solution to our difficulties.”

Pam Jackson, a kindergarten teacher, writing to artist Linda Shaw:
“I have a copy of the beautiful children’s book you illustrated that my mother mailed to me. I want to thank you for your part in telling this difficult story to children. I have shared The Story of The Bear with our local guidance counselor and with a friend who lost a sister to depression and addiction. Your work will continue to touch lives of young people caught in the sadness of suicide. Thank you.”

Stuart Sweeney, retired railroad worker:
“I enjoyed reading The Story of The Bear. I can’t help but think even though the story’s message is simple, it is one that will stick with a reader throughout his or her life.”

Sharon Garner, survivor and school bus driver:
The Story of The Bear, by Lisa Scheller, is a touching story of strength, softness and love. The story talks about how the main character makes choices. It leans toward children’s understanding of loss but speaks to all ages. The bear is a loveable character who struggles with emotional and physical pain. His efforts at dealing with personal problems are described with love and compassion. Mrs. Scheller uses her heartfelt personal understanding of the subject to comfort and teach important concepts to children and adults alike. I would recommend this book for all ages and give it a 10-star rating. It is beautifully written and illustrated, and it touched my soul.”

Barbara C., survivor:
The Story of The Bear is beautifully illustrated, and the story is so relevant in this day and age. I wish this kind of story had been available back in the 1960s. At that time, suicide was a taboo subject. The book is amazing, and I am thrilled to have it.”

Janice McCarthy, survivor, and president and founder of COPSS (Care of Police Suicide Survivors):
“I really wish I could have had The Story of The Bear 11 years ago after losing my husband. My children at the time were 16, 14 and 8. The story is poignant and heartwarming. It strikes a perfect balance of compassion, understanding and love. Even though it is a children’s book, the message will resound with every adult who reads it. It has left a mark on my heart.”

Ronda Miller, life coach and president of Kansas Authors Club:
“I have worked with children for over 40 years. I’ve found few children’s books that deal with topics such as death, disease or divorce. I had never found one that dealt with the topic of suicide. This is a beautiful story of a bear’s unmanageable pain and journey. It works for children of all ages and their understanding of the story. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful. Congratulations, Lisa Scheller. This one touched me to the core.”

Julienne Kaslaitis, retired psychotherapist, marriage and family therapist and Christian chaplain:
The Story of The Bear is a MUST HAVE for another dimension of our own healing from the tragedy of suicide and to share with others. The genius of this beautiful story is it fits all ages and all spiritual awarenesses. The writing and illustrations will come to reside in you.”

Loralee Stevens, EdD:
“This book is going to be an important work of literature for those in the helping/healing professions and as a story of strength in its own right. It is beautifully illustrated, written, and important. Have a copy or two at the ready for when a young person near you needs to understand the complications of adult choices.”

Alberta Irwin, retired physician’s assistant:
“The Story of The Bear is so well written, and I know it will be a blessing to children who have lost a loved one, and will help them deal with that loss. The story will help open up discussions and help show them that when people get old and frail and then pass on, that there is beauty awaiting them on the other side. Wonderful memories help those left behind to smile and think about the good times through the years. I think it is a book to read many times later on and it will be a valuable lesson each time they read it. The illustrations are wonderful, and I love the expressions on the children’s faces and also the bear’s. I’m going to read it again before I pass it on to someone very dear to me. I thank you for sharing it with me and her. I hope I see more of your writing, and maybe another book in the future.”

James E. Hasselle III, MD, LFAPA, retired psychiatrist:
“The Story of The Bear is written with thoughtfulness by Lisa Scheller and beautifully illustrated by Linda Shaw. A beloved grandfather bear is overwhelmed with sadness and discouragement, and has lost the will to live. This is not an unusual story in many families. The story will be most valuable in providing understanding and comfort in that context.

“With compassion, the story conveys hope and that we need not fear our sadness in losing those we love. The telling of The Story of The Bear conveys a strength we can carry in our minds and a love in our hearts that can last a lifetime.”

Donna Amison:
“The suicide of a loved one is hard for adults to understand, but for a child, where do you begin? The Story of The Bear is an excellent place to start. Lisa Scheller’s touching story begins with a storyteller and a group of children sitting around a campfire. The storyteller starts by reassuring the children that ‘when you face life’s problems, believe you will find the answer.’ The story is told with sensitivity, describing the old bear’s experiences and feelings as he strives to ‘learn the secret of the shadow.’ Linda Shaw’s colorful drawings help us follow the bear’s journey up the mountain. Even though the story is very sad, there is comfort and hope at the end. The Story of The Bear gives caregivers and children a framework for further conversation about this very difficult topic.”

Patricia Cameron, retired social worker:
“The Story of The Bear is one of the most beautifully illustrated books that I have ever seen. I think the point that we can limit our choices by not looking around was well made and could apply to many situations young people face. It could be an excellent teaching tool for anyone who is a parent or who influences children’s lives.”

Kathy Shaulis, registered nurse:
“I read a friend’s copy of The Story of The Bear, and it is so wonderful. Very simple and well stated. I am going to get my own copy. I think every family should have a copy of this book.”

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