Goodbye House

Common Sense Media says

Young bear bids farewell to the old home.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Baby Bear is shown sitting in his mother's lap in the moving van, rather than in his own car seat.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the book's illustrations skillfully portray the emotional hollowness of an unoccupied home. Through Frank Asch's accessible prose, young children will be drawn in by Baby Bear's ritualized farewell to his house.

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What's the story?

Baby Bear's reluctance to leave his old home behind manifests itself in a vague feeling that something is missing. His wise parents gently remind him that although the house is physically empty, it is overflowing with their fond memories.

Together the family envisions how the house looked, filled with their belongings. Afterward, Papa Bear leads Baby Bear through the house and yard, saying goodbye to each special spot.

Is it any good?


While books for children of all ages about moving are numerous, this deals solely with bidding farewell to the old home. Taking into consideration this narrow focus, Asch's sympathetic tale succeeds in helping young readers cope with the stress of relocating. The Bear family, a perennial favorite among preschoolers, handles this situation in a practical manner. By methodically going through the house with Baby Bear to say goodbye, Papa Bear enables his son to have a small measure of control over the situation and a sense of completion.

Asch's text and artwork are a perfect fit; the uncomplicated pictures are a reflection of the simply worded story. The bright illustrations are framed by a thin black line, encapsulating the pictures. The rounded figures and large eyes of the entire family render each of them childlike, making them appealing to young audiences.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about leaving a house you've lived in for a long time. What do you think would be hardest about leaving your home? How does the Bear family make it easier for Baby Bear?

Book details

Author:Frank Asch
Illustrator:Frank Asch
Genre:Family Life
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:January 1, 1986
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7
Read alone:6

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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