Sunday, February 19, 2012

Character Spotlight: Bear

Lil Guy loves predictable book with rhyme and rhythm.  When we get to the end of a page he likes being able to answer with a phrase or response.  One of our favorite book series like this is about the lovable bear originally introduced in Bear Snores On.  The series is written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman.  It is tailored towards toddlers and perfect for read alouds.  The series is available in both hardcover and boardbook.  Our Lil Guy loves the old bear and his friends, hare, mouse, mole, badger, wren, raven, and owl.  In fact, he seeks out these books both at the library and at book stores, and there are many, many to choose from.

My favorite of the books is the original, Bear Snores On.  I love the idea of a lovable old bear just snoring while his friends have a good time.  Plus, in this book we are unsure if the little critters are friends or foes of the bear.  The illustrations are spot on as well, not too babyish with soft woodland colors, and lots of details.  My husband, co-reader of bedtime tales, likes the Christmas themed book: Bear Stays Up which is a reversal of the first book in which all of Bear’s friends fall asleep while he struggles to stay awake waiting for Christmas to finally come.  Probably the most interesting part of this book is the appearance of Santa, but no mention in the story itself.  As for Lil Guy, he rather likes Bear’s New Friend which introduces us to a new friend in the forest and has plenty of repetition of the phrase, Who? Who? Who?

For families who love sharing books together, these books are a great choice.  They offer sweet stories and cute characters, plus a few surprises.  At least in our house, the books don’t bore parents but offer a chance to engage children in a patterned response to the story.  Perfect for toddlers, preschool read alouds, maybe even older children.  The series is a hit in our family at bedtime, car time, library time and all the times in between.

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