Tag Archives: bear

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

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The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
By Julia Sarcone-Roach
Alfred A Knopf, 2015

In a hilarious, wild tale, a narrator shares how the bear ate berries from a truck, that carried him over rivers and bridges and into town.  The bear explored everything with a smell, from garbage cans, to farmers markets, to dumpsters.  He discovered the park and played, until he found the sandwich, which he gobbled up straightaway.  Knowing he did wrong, he dashed up a tree and, missing his forest, caught a boat home.  “So.  That’s what happened to your sandwich.  The bear ate it,” says the dog (narrator) to the knowing little girl.  A fun tall tale, a great read aloud.

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Kuma-Kuma Chan, The Little Bear

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Kuma-Kuma Chan, The Little Bear

By Kazue Takahashi
Museyon, 2015
Translated from Japan

This quiet story of a quiet bear is done in quiet colors in a small format for tiny readers.  The perfect quiet story for preschoolers.

After introducing readers to Kum-Kum Chan, the narrator wonders what the little bear does during his day, so we follow the bear.  From waking up, to eating a breakfast of tomatoes and lettuce from his garden, to tidying up the house.  We follow Kum-Kum Chan as he contemplates clouds passing by, as he dances to raindrops, and as he rolls across the room to stay in the sunlight.  He does many things a preschooler may do to enjoy his surroundings.   Its simplicity and charm pull in the reader.  Completing Kum-Kum Chan’s day in bed, it makes a quiet bedtime story.

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Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep

sleep bearSleep, Big Bear, Sleep
by Maureen Wright, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
Marshall Cavendish Children, 2009

Written in loose rhyme with a gently flowing rhythm, Old Man Winter tells Big Bear to, “Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep.  But bear is hard of hearing and thinks he is to drive a jeep.  Which he does, causing all sorts of havoc.  Bear heads to a bed when he hears Old Man Winter remind him to sleep.  Mis-hearing him, Big Bear thinks he was told to sweep, then leap, and dive deep.  Finally, in exasperation, Old Man Winter cries out something else, and bear finds his sleep.

A great read-aloud, where kids see the humor when bear mis-hears and routes for Big Bear to go to sleep.

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Who Wants a Hug?

Who Wants a Hug?
Jeff Mack
HarperCollins, 2015

A big huggable bear hugs all his friends and everyone hugs him back.  Except Skunk.  Skunk determines that no one wants to hug him because he smells bad and declines.  Each time he declines, bear says, “I’ll save you one for later.”  Skunk decides he doesn’t like bear—he’s too happy–and decides to teach bear a lesson.  He throws a stinky mackerel at bear, but misses and it ricochets back at skunk.  He plans for garbage to fall on bear, but it falls on skunk.  After several humorous attempts, skunk gives up. Bear asks him if he’d like that hug now.  “I guess I’ll have a tiny one,” says skunk.  But Bear only knows how to give a great big bear hug.  Well, Skunk loves the hug, but bear jumps back crying “PU!”  Skunk wants another, but bear dashes off crying he’ll, “save you one for later?”  But Bear returns with a clothespin on his nose and hugs skunk.

Clever story showing how easy it is to jump to conclusions and how obstacles can be overcome.  A story on diversity that toddlers can understand.  And who doesn’t want a great, big bear hug?

When a Dad Says “I Love You”

When a Dad Says “I Love You”
by Douglas Wood, illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
Simon & Schuster for Young Readers, 2013

Traditional dads say “I Love You” in many ways to their child, without always using those three words.  This book sheds light in a gentle way of some of the many ways some dads—and some moms!—say I love you to their children.

Some dads show their love by making pancakes, some by chasing their kids in the back yard for fun, some by helping their child learn to ride a bike, or taking them to watch a parade.  If a dad, or other family member, doesn’t always use those three magic words, share with them this book and it will help them understand.

This is a wonderfully reassuring book for the child who doesn’t hear the spoken words, “I love you”.

Winnie, The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh

Winnie, The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
by Sally M. Walker,  illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss
Henry Holt and Company 2015

A must have book for Winnie-the-Pooh lovers!  This book tells of how Winnie-the-Pooh came to be!

In the early 1900’s, Harry Coleman, a service veterinarian (for horses), discovered a small bear cub at a train station.  He learned the bear’s mother had died, and the old man sitting with her was wanting to sell the bear.  $20 later the bear boarded the train with the vet!  Harry immediately named the bear Winnipeg, where the vet was stationed.  When he was transferred to London, for World War I, Winnie went with him.  When he was transferred to the front lines, Winnie was housed in the London Zoo.  Because the bear was so friendly, people often joined the bear in his quarters.  One day a special boy visited him—Christopher Robin!  His dad watched the boy’s fascination with the bear, and began making up bedtime stories for his son.  Those eventually became the Winnie-the-Pooh stories.

The art and the story are beautiful.  The book includes old photos of the real Winnie, Christopher Robin and author A.A. Milne.

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The Bear Who Shared

The Bear Who Shared
Catherine Rayner
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2010

Wise Norris the bear waits beneath a tree for a plorringe. Violet and Tulip, a bit more curious, climb the tree, study the fruit, listen to it, touch it and are about to lick it, when…the fruit falls onto Norris! But Wise Norris is kind and he shares the fruit with Violet and Tulip and they all become friends and share everything.

Illustrated in rich watercolors, the pictures alone tell the story. Illustrator/author Rayner captures the special looks and emotions of all the characters, building the tension adeptly. The story is illustrated and told with love.

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Soldier Bear

Soldier Bear
Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrated by Philip Hopman
Eerdmans Children’s Books, 2008

A bear named Voytek, meaning ‘smiling warrior’ in Polish, was found and adopted by five Polish soldiers serving in the British Corps during World War II. Based on a true story, the bear soon becomes their beloved pet. The men convince their Commanding Officer to make him Private Voytek, a member of the Corps. Voytek improves the morale of all the men, bringing laughter to an otherwise dismal time. Near the front lines, Voytek steps up to help unload bombs. Voytek becomes a hero when he captures a spy and when he convinces a new CO to send him, as part of the transportation unit, to the front lines. A remarkable story.

Netherlands author Bibi Dumon Tak brilliantly places the story in the life and death realities of a war and tells it in a way children can accept. This is the kind of story that stays with you long after the last page is read.

Soldier Bear won the 2012 Batchelder Award, an award given to a translated children’s book.

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This is the Bear

This is the Bear
Sarah Hayes, Helen Craig illustrator
Harper Trophy, Harper and Row, Inc 1986

This book came out in the ‘80’s but is still a fun story about a boy’s bear who accidentally is taken to the dump!

The boy’s dog was the one responsible for pushing the bear into the garbage, so the boy and dog catch the bus to find his bear. Reluctantly a sanitation worker helps the boy look, but the bear can’t be found. Meanwhile, the bear is getting impatient and cross, until he sees his boy. Finally the dog catches a whiff of the bear, and the unhappy sanitation worker takes them home. The bear and boy clean up and go to bed. Eager for another adventure, the bear wakes the boy in the middle of the night and asks, “How soon can we have another day out?”

A simple story wrapped in rhyme, it induces quiet contemplation by the young reader on what if his favorite animal ended up at the dump. My son received this book when he was about three, and in high school took it to school to read as his favorite childhood book. It’s one of my favorites and still fun to read after all these years.

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Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear

Little Tricker the SquirrelLittle Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear
by Ken Kesey, illustrated by Barry Moser
Viking, 1990

A family favorite, we acted out this story, and I’ve seen it beautifully told by several storytellers. Set in the south, with a looong draaawl we meet a trickster squirrel who is rudely awakened by a bear’s “ROARRR!”, that shakes “the cottonwood from root to crown till a critter could hardly stand.” Bear threatens other animals, but none want anything to do with him, until Little Tricker decides to have some fun with him–and so the games begin! This story is probably too long for the television-raised young of today, but if you have a storyteller’s voice and want a good romp through a book, this could become a favorite.

The book is out of print, but you can find used copies on the internet and a few at local libraries.