Monday, August 5, 2019

John's Journal (3 Funny Bear Books.)

Guest Post: John is a K-5 Media Specialist, history buff, author, and my oh-so-sweet husband. He's going to post monthly book reviews/finds here. 

If you’re looking for a great read aloud with a bear as a main character, or simply seek a terrific stand-alone book that has some fun and sneaky surprises, any or all of these work beary well!

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The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach

I’ve read this story to Kindergarten classes over the past two years and I’ve been asked to read it again. It starts with a simple premise: a sandwich is missing, and  it seems certain that a bear ate it. We then learn that a bear accidently ended up in the back of a truck loaded with berries, falls asleep, and ends up in the city where he goes on a number of adventures of discovery. He eventually ends up on a boat and returns to the forest much in the same way he got there. The illustrations are bright, fluid, and bold and move the story along without the need of much text– and the narration creates a hilarious surprise (spoiler alert) – well, let’s just say that the end of the story begs to ask the question – WHO really ate the sandwich?

I see she has a new book out that looks every bit as fun but I haven't read it yet.  It's on my list. 

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Now for my second pick...

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Bear Came Along by J.T. Lewis; illustrated by LeUyen Pham

This brand new story is almost like an amusement park ride. It starts off simply: There was a river that flowed all night and day and then … a bear came along.
The bear falls in the river and realizes what a river can do – like a “Lazy River” ride he begins to flow down the river on his adventure and along the way meets some “new friends”: a frog, some turtles, and a beaver among others. They’re all riding along on a log when a waterfall appears. What next? Is it scary or fun? Or maybe both. The bottom line is that either way, it’s great to have friends to have fun and take on new challenges together rather than alone. This story has  a great deal to offer for a read aloud. It’s great to have a good time on your own, but sometimes it is better to bring some friends with you. It encourages kids to invite others to play – “the more the merrier”. This book has expressive, fun illustrations and text with lots of repetition which adds to the fun…and a great surprise: the illustrations early on are more muted and black and white BUT as each friend joins the bear on the log, they become brighter and more colorful.

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Horrible Bear! by Ame Dyckman and Zachoriah O’Hora

Is Bear really horrible? According to the red-headed girl in the story, he is! Bear accidently broke her kite when it snapped from its string and flew into Bear’s cave and she is determined to let everyone know it what a horrible bear he is! Bear really isn’t horrible at all, but after the run-in with the girl, he might have to act horrible to prove his point. Instead, Bear ends up saving the day and helping the girl “fix” her favorite stuffed animal. This story is told with sparse text with bright colors and bold lines. There are hilarious, almost TV sitcom-like moments and some wonderful characters. Repeated readings reveal surprises as the story moves up and down a hill – from cave to house; across a field where a goat is attempting to have a picnic – the story ends with “everything being patched up” even the kite. That is until we see the same goat enjoying a snack, a snack that flies on a string! Horrible Goat! The giggling never stops when I read this book. 

Read on!

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