Posts Tagged ‘bears’
Thursday, October 11th, 2012
Bear Has a Story to Tell
by Phillip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead (Roaring Brook Press)
This big-bellied bear with fur that’s many shades of brown won me over from the first two pages. He is sleepy, but sets out, for he has a story to tell. This desire leads him to Mouse, who has seeds to gather. Duck is getting ready to fly south. Frog must find a warm place to sleep, and Mole is already sleeping. Bear helps them all, before watching snow fall in a sky painted in marvelous shades of blue, green, and violet. He sleeps, then rolls around to celebrate spring and his chance to tell his story to friends who seem even closer after their time apart. Readers will learn about friendship and the cycles of seasons, in a book whose last page sends them back to the first.
Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
Baby Bear Sees Blue
by Ashley Wolff (Beach Lane Books)
The story follows a day through the happy-to-be-together Mama and child in an animated world: the sun speaks through a warm light, oak leaves wave. Baby Bear finds blue birds, red strawberries, orange butterflies, and who could choose a favorite color among these so beautifully done on linoleum block prints, hand colored with vivid watercolors? A thunderstorm makes them hurry home, then marvel at a rainbow. The cozy book begins with us peering into a dark, mysterious den, and ends with the “deep, soft black” Baby Bear sees when he closes his eyes, and a view of the night sky looking out from the den.
Wednesday, April 11th, 2012
Grin and Bear It by Leo Landry (Charlesbridge, 2011)
Bear has a dream of telling jokes to make his friends laugh, but shyness gets in his way. He practices with the support of his big-hearted friends. Even strangers seem supportive in this community near the woods. Animals do want to laugh. The pencil and watercolor illustrations are as simple, funny, and warm as the story, so that we’re rooting for Bear while laughing at his pun-filled jokes. Good fortune and teamwork turn around Bear’s fate. New readers will enjoy working their way through the short sentences of seven short chapters, while, as with the best books for emerging readers, others will be happy to hear them read aloud.
Tuesday, January 17th, 2012
Tell Me the Day Backwards by Albert Lamb, illustrated by David McPhail (Candlewick Press, 2011)
A few lively scenes appear in this story of a little bear’s bedtime ritual, but the gentle watercolor and ink illustrations and soothing pace should make this a bedtime favorite. As Timmy Bear gets tucked in, he and his mother remember the day’s events, including teeth-brushing, sunset-watching, a scary encounter with a fish, being chased by bees, eating honey, and seeing purple butterflies. The book ends with a memory of sleeping through a long, cold winter, but Mama Bear says, through sentences that start to lull after the day’s adventures, that now he’ll sleep for just one night. A lovely way to close one’s eyes.
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Want more recommendations from The Carle Bookshop? Click here to read for Top of the Shelf book reviews.
Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
Tell Me the Day Backwards by Albert Lamb, illustrated by David McPhail (Candlewick Press)
In this tender bedtime tale, Tiny Bear recites all the things that happened to him that day – in reverse! Landing in a pond of water, being chased by bees, watching the sunset from a hill top, and sharing special moments with Mama Bear are brought to life under McPhail’s lively brush.
Friday, November 19th, 2010
I hated going to bed when I was little. I mean, seriously, what’s to like? It’s dark and kind of scary and maybe you’re alone in your own bedroom and you’re not even tired and there’s nothing to do and what’s that weird noise? You know your parents are downstairs having fun without you. There’s probably even cake. And why do grown-ups want to stay in bed so long in the morning? No, sleep was not something I looked forward to as a kid.
I remember it being completely foreign to me as a child that some animals slept all winter. How could anyone possibly sleep for that long? And why? Don’t they have to eat? What if they…you know…have to go? Do they hold it until spring? Hibernation, to me, was totally weird and yet…completely fascinating.
Around this time of year, as it gets reeeeaally cold around here in New England, customers start wanting a stack of picture books to snuggle up with on the couch or in bed. And for me, now that I’m older, on these dark winter nights sleeping until spring suddenly doesn’t sound so bad anymore. Looking through our shelves for cozy recommendations, I noticed just how many picture books touch on hibernation. I guess I wasn’t the only child completely captivated by this strange need to sleep all winter.
Jane Dyer’s Little Brown Bear Won’t Take a Nap! is a favorite recommendation of mine because it unites a child’s determination not to go to bed with the fact that all bears must hibernate in the winter. If little kids hate to go to sleep, what about little bears? Child readers can really relish in Little Bear’s rebellious adventures as he avoids his winter nap.
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Dennis Haseley and Jim LaMarche’s A Story for Bear. We’ve talked about it here and here already, but it’s worth repeating because, in my opinion, this book does not get as much buzz as it deserves. And nothing is sweeter than this story-loving bear sleeping and dreaming all winter long among a den full of books.
I love Denise Fleming’s picture books not only for her unique handmade paper collage illustrations, but also because they explain nature and ecosystems in such an accessible way. In her book, Time to Sleep, the bear smells winter coming in the air, which sets off a chain reaction of animals telling other animals to prepare for the winter. Readers, both children and adults, will discover how each of the animals, from bears to snails and from skunks to ladybugs, all hibernate in their own way. A great bedtime read that’s educational as well as entertaining, Time to Sleep is the perfect book to get all readers in the mood for winter.
And what bears do all day when they’re hibernating? Are they asleep? Do they dream? In Kevin Henkes’ Old Bear, this bear has beautiful, vivid dreams all winter. Inside his dreams, the reader follows the bear as he frolicks through each of the four seasons until finally he awakes in the spring. The simple and colorful illustrations truly awaken the joy of all the seasons and offer that comforting reminder that even though the winter may be long and boring (just like going to bed at night sometimes feels) there is always a colorful spring to look forward to. And in the meantime, we can dream…and read!
Click here to purchase any of these exceptional bear picture books and save 15% off at checkout with the coupon code: BEAR until Friday, November 26, 2010.
Monday, November 8th, 2010
There’s a no shortage of bears in picture books, that’s for sure. From Winnie-the-Pooh to Paddington, we readers have cherished a long-time love of cute, cuddly bears. And here in the bookstore, I’m pleased to see new bears to love in each year’s new batch of picture books. But how to tell them all apart? I bet you can do it! Identify the books that each of these favorite bears come from in the comments below. Get them all right and you’ll be entered a raffle for this free Brown Bear & Friends poster.
Sounds bear-y good to me! So, let’s hear your guesses, you picture book pros!
Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010
A Story for Bear by Dennis Haseley, illustrated by Jim LaMarche
Anyone who enjoys books – both children and adults – will delight in this fantasy about the friendship of a woman and a bear – brought together by the love of reading. Haseley’s enchanting tale is made real by LaMarche’s glowing and realistic illustrations.
Click here to buy A Story for Bear or click here to read more Top of the Shelf book reviews.