The Bear Said Please
The Bear Said Please
Wombat Books, 2014
hbk., RRP $A18.99
“’Growl,’ said the bear. “Growl,’ said his tummy. ‘Hmmmm,’ thought the bear. I need some honey.” And so he sets out to find some through a series of rhymes whose meaning is made clear through clever text positioning and delightful watercolour pictures. Eventually he finds what he is looking for, but it is guarded by angry bees for Bear has forgotten his manners.
Getting little ones to say “please” and “thank you” is a struggle known to all parents and this sweet story is a great way to demonstrate what might happen if you forget. You certainly don’t get what you want! But apart from that, it’s also a great book to engage our youngest readers because the rhymes make it a predictable text which makes it so easy for them to join in in a shared reading session, and then, together with the clear, engaging pictures encourage them to try reading it to themselves. Even the size of the book (23omm x 200mm) is just right for their hands as they start to learn about the joy of story, concepts about print, and early reading behaviours.
I can’t wait to share it with Miss 3.
The ABC Book of Seasons
ABC Books/ HarperCollins, 2014
hbk., RRP $A19.99
“Seasons come…seasons go…sun shines …winds blow…rain falls …plants grow”. As winter starts to take its grip on Australia once again, this is a great book to help our youngest readers learn about the seasons. Each season has its own group of pages that show a range of familiar sights, colours and activities and concludes with a question that draws the child into sharing their own ideas and experiences.
It is also Australian with words and illustrations that are familiar to our children. “Autumn” is used rather than “fall” and there are beaches, barbecues, picnics and parks which will help the reader connect with the story. Even though the winter snow scenes might be new to many, the children that I shared this with were quite tickled that here was a picture that they could really relate to, given where we live. While many of them could describe just what it feels like to be on a chairlift, it also started a conversation about what winter was like in other parts of Australia. They were fascinated that there were places where beaches and barbecues were everyday things all year round!
While nonfiction books about the seasons abound, there are very few that are as charming and appealing as this one for this age group. The authors and illustrators have got it just right for their target audience, and it is one that can be read and reread throughout the year as the calendar and the planet turn.
A peek inside…
pbk., $RRP $A14.99
Have you ever considered what it must be like to follow a pregnancy through the eyes of the family pet? In this very funny take on a common situation, Dog introduces us to his pet girl, Rover and her family and provides a running commentary of the changes he notices in Rover’s mum as her tummy gets bigger and bigger. It takes him a while to realise it’s not just because she’s swallowed a big dinner and he doesn’t understand why he can’t sleep in the big new basket Rover’s dad brings home or gets into strife for trying to catch the animals hanging from the mobile on the ceiling. Finally, it becomes clear when a very small human appears on the scene although he is puzzled when Rover tries to eat it and it tries to eat Rover’s mum. He calls the baby Howler because that what it does, yet no matter what he does he is ignored or in BIG trouble.
So he starts to spend time with the dog next door, Ruff-Ruff and it’s not long before she starts to get bigger and bigger… and gradually his understanding of the phenomenon develops.
This new edition of this story by the author of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is very funny and gives a totally new take on that classic pre-school theme of a new baby joining the family. Neal Layton’s illustrations appear to be quite simple but they convey so much meaning and expression that they are the perfect accompaniment, creating a fresh, lively and entertaining story. As well as showing the young child who is also awaiting a new brother or sister that “someone’ empathises with their bewilderment, if can also that can be used to help them understand the concept of perspective and our view of an event depends on our position within it. Discussing the book from the point of view of rover, her mum her dad, even Ruff-Ruff’s owners, would all enrich and enhance the experience.
A peek inside…