The Story of the 14 Bears

June 19, 2013


This is just embarrassing to admit, but I got my love of decorating from a children’s book about bears.
I recently came across my copy, and was so excited to see it.
The Story of Fourteen Bears, written by Evelyn Scott and expertly illustrated by Virginia Parsons, was originally published in 1969 and again in 1973. Have any of you ever seen this
amazingly simple yet engrossing story?
Here’s the fascinating synopsis:  There are a bunch of bears who all have their own
uniquely decorated tree houses.
That’s about it.
This book was the gateway drug for my addiction to Architectural Digest, Southern Veranda and the occasional hit of National Geographic thrown in for the bears.
Each little bear had their own style, and to me . . . it was fascinating.
But here’s the really amazing part of the story. When I started writing this simple little story about my simple little book, I did a quick search and discovered there was a sequel:
The Fourteen Bears – Summer and Winter.
But wait . . . there’s more!
My book is selling on various web sites for as high as $295.00 !!!!
The Summer and Winter version is selling as high as $1,117.00!!!!
Other children’s books in my collection aren’t nearly as valuable, especially one of this fairly recent age. (Remember, I read it as a little girl, so it can’t possibly be OLD!)
 I have vintage Dick and Jane books that don’t fetch these prices. I just don’t get it.
But now that I know it’s worth so much $$$, I’ll take better care of it.
 I still love looking at this book so much, I’m like the bald man who got a
comb for his birthday. . .
I don’t think I’ll ever part with it.
And that’s the story of the fourteen bears.
Click here and here to read about two other fun children’s books I love.

  • Christina Moylan says:

    Wow! The helpful power of the internet brought me here and finally answered the burning question that’s been haunting me for years…what was this book that I absolutely devoured as a young child 45 years ago called? For so many years I’ve been seeking this answer. Thank you, thank you!!! Seeing the pages here has flooded me with memories & joy. I was delighted and fascinated by this big book as a child back in the mid-70’s and the story and illustrations have stuck in my mind my whole life. I must get my hands in this! Too bad mom and dad tossed it out oh so many years ago 🙁

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      So glad you found this! I have a similar childhood book dilemma – no name, no author, yet I loved it and would love to see it again. Ahhh . . . the power of childhood books!

  • This was one of my favorite books as a kid, and now I’m an architect 🙂

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      Love it! Good for you.

  • I became an interior designer because of this book!?

    • Leslie Anne Tarabella says:

      This doesn’t surprise me at all. It’s such a simple yet beautifully told story.

  • I loved this book as a child. There was one bear that had a built in bed cubby thing and I wanted that Style bed so badly! I recently decided to look for the book and about choked on the price! Could you take a picture of the bear with the built in bed and email it to me? I STILL want that bed!

    • Let me see if I can find it and I’ll be glad to send you a picture. I think I know the exact bear you are talking about!
      UPDATE: Sent!

  • I am in awe. I feel EXACTLY the same! A product of the 70’s, this book was checked out so often by me at school that the librarian eventually gifted it to me! I’ve thought about it ever since, even though the copy is long gone. Today on a whim I searched “childrens book different bedrooms” and can you believe it popped up?! The bears house with the inglenook bed was my favorite, and had a huge impact on honing my aesthetic towards arts & crafts, rustic, cottage, mid 30’s design. The color combinations are amazing too! I remember flashing back to this book in design school when learning color theory. If I am not mistaken there was a Virginia Parsons in ID? I wonder…. At any rate, thank you for being so bold as to share your thoughts regarding the association with Interior Design. It is always nice to feel understood. cheers.

    • Thanks so much for the note Jenifer! I’m not sure where you are from, but I have a feeling we’d be great friends! The power of a good children’s book to stimulate creativity is amazing! Hope you find a copy someday soon.

  • […] though, because every single page I found talking about it was from an interior design website. (Here’s one example.) This book follows a family of fourteen bears and their adventures in summer and winter, but what […]

  • What fun! looks like great book. I have a child’s book that I love and it is selling for quite a bit online right now. Wonder if they actually ever really sell them for those prices? I can list stuff for any price but doesn’t mean I’m gonna sell it!

  • I never saw this book, but it’s beautifully illustrated and I love the decorating theme of it. Such good memories of Dick, Jane, & Sally, too. I must confess to a weakness for children’s books and spent an hour this week at Barnes & Noble choosing some for baby gifts. Now I want to read them first!

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