Picture Books About Bears

10 08 2012

My family moved to a new town about a month ago, and we recently had a chance to check out the new library.  My kids were pretty excited about this (probably because we used to go to the library every week, but with vacation and moving and all that craziness, it’d been about five weeks).  They were grabbing books left and right, so when we got to the checkout, there were a ton of books I had no idea they’d even picked up.

One that Andy grabbed, because he said his kindergarten teacher had read it to them, was Jamberry by Bruce Degan.  Jamberry is a fun little sing-songy, Dr. Seussish rhyming story about a kid dancing around with a bear and singing about a whole bunch of ridiculous types of berries.  I can’t say that I’d recommend this one for 6th graders, but for 3 year olds who love to hear rhymes and giggle when you say things like “shoeberry” and “canoeberry” it was fun.

The other one, the one that Josh grabbed, was The Happy Day by Ruth Krauss.  Krauss’ most famous book was The Carrot Seed, which is Josh’s favorite book, so I guess he saw something about this one that caught his eye.  It’s a fun story about a bunch of animals sleeping through the winter in the woods.  Suddenly, something compels them to get up and run through the trees.  The mystery builds as more and more animals run to see something, and my boys couldn’t wait to find out what it’d be.  Jake guessed it would be a giraffe.  Josh thought it’d be ice cream.  They were both wrong.  It was the first flower of spring – Happy day!  Illustrator Marc Simont was given a Caledcott Honor for this book, which the fun illustrations richly deserve.  Written in 1949, the illustrations (much like Make Way for Ducklings, which I read earlier this summer) just cry out 1940s and 50s.  I could have (and did) stared at those pictures for hours.  I love that type of art.

Jamberry and The Happy Day were the 56th and 57th books I’ve read this summer on my quest to finish 90 books in 90 days.  

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