Dreama Denver says her late husband Bob “Gilligan” Denver gave her the idea to write the book two decades ago for their autistic son Colin
Four Bears In A Box will touch lives of the little ones in your life and take them on a magical journey of imagination and pure joy”
— Dreama Denver, author of Four Bears In A Box
A new children’s book recently unearthed with a classic television twist is receiving the Hollywood treatment, just in time to help kids cope with social distancing during the very contemporary coronavirus.
The very first draft of Four Bears In A Box was written over two decades ago by author and retired actress Dreama Denver. The story is based on an original concept and accompanying pencil sketches given to Dreama by her late husband, TV icon Bob Denver, star of Gilligan’s Island and Dobie Gillis.
Dreama wrote the Four Bears story as a way for them to entertain their son Colin, who had been born severely autistic and was soothed by the rhymes and rhythms of classic Dr. Seuss. With their shared theater backgrounds, Bob and Dreama would read Dr. Seuss stories to him every evening, using their acting backgrounds to reach through to Colin and bring the book’s characters to life. They did the same with Four Bears, and Colin loved it.
Eventually, the typewritten, well-worn pages of Four Bears had been filed away and forgotten in a dusty filing cabinet in her home office. Life moved on, Colin grew, and Bob Denver passed away in 2005. Then, late last year, a surprised Dreama came across the slightly yellowed pages and Bob’s sketches while doing some long overdue file purging.
“I had completely forgotten about the Four Bears story, and then, there it was. After a good cry, I sent it to my manager, who loved it, immediately got it to a publisher who also loved it, and the advance reading copies of the book very quickly started receiving awards even before the final book was published,” says Denver.
Additionally, Four Bears In A Box has been given the Hollywood treatment in the form of a homespun online reading of the story performed by award-winning Warner Brothers and Nickelodeon animation voice acting legend Charlie Adler, with music from Nashville singer-songwriter Delnora Reed. The video was written and produced by Los Angeles-based actor Kevin Sizemore (Woodlawn, Fear The Walking Dead, MINE 9) and his GKg Productions, a close friend of Dreama’s who also grew up in Dreama’s hometown of Princeton, West Virginia where she and Colin still live. ◊