Tag Archives: bears

A totally brilliant pastry-maker with a secret

somewhere elseGeorge Laurent finds a lot of ways NOT to go south or north or any other direction.  He is a master of the éclair and the strudel, but he is possibly a homebody kind of a bird.  Perhaps he’s just too busy with yoga classes to visit the Alaskan tundra like his friends?

Oh my, well, there’s a story here.  Fortunately, George Laurent and Pascal Lombard get to talking one day, and the truth about George Laurent’s missed flying lessons comes out.  A good friend like Pascal Lombard might just be able to help – with training or an engineering project or something.

This is a wonderful story about overcoming or moving past the things you are bad at, making friends, and taking risks. It is also a completely delightful visual experience, with funny little realistic touches.  It’s probably a bit too detailed for most of my storytime listeners, but one-on-one, it’s a treat!

Somewhere Else by Gus Gordon

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Please slow down, Mr. Fox!

Hello+Door+CoverWhen you are a thief – especially a quick-moving, easy-to-distract thief – you might want to consider slowing down and paying attention to your environment to improve your chances of success.  If you see paintings of fancypants bears on the walls, for example, you might think, “Hmmm, does this homeowner just really like bears or could, maybe, possibly, there be bears living here?”  If you see a tell-all about Goldilocks, that might be another clue.

If you’re a fox, you might still miss all these clues, but in this case it won’t matter.  You will fly along with a sweet, silly rhyme, blissfully launching yourself through bright and cheery illustrations until suddenly, you realize there are bears.  But then maybe you just pick yourself up and start again, like we all sometimes have to.  It’s a bit of a stretch to make this a book on making mistakes and starting over, but whether you stretch or not, it’s simply delightful.

Hello, Door by Alistair Heim and Alisa Coburn

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Opening your eyes to the possibilities around you

Today we meet a bear, a sheep and an inventor-explorer—what could be better?

Mostly, Bunnybear’s a bear, but while there are a lot of great things about being a bear, Bunnybear also feels like a bunny – bouncy, light, happy.  The other bears find this a little weird, to say the least, and then when real rabbits actually appear, they don’t seem to appreciate the bunny in Bunnybear, either.  Well, phooey.  Then Grizzlybun shows up.  It turns out that the larger world of bunnies have some preconceived notions that don’t include loud and burly, so Bunnybear and Grizzlybun have something in common.  Finding each other means they have a friend and a path to a less limiting world of bunnies and bears.  Nice.

Lily Wool is whimsical in the same way Bunnybear is, although she bucks the conventions of sheep-dom by skipping through meadows, becoming a gymnast, learning to lasso, and playing Cupid.  The other sheep, however, are not so happy with Lily’s explorations into creativity with wool.  Does Lily give up?  She does not.  She even uses her new skills to open a business.  So there, boring sheep!

Norton and Alpha are inventors and explorers, always on the search for something new to repurpose or investigate.  When they come across a mysterious object, they pluck it from the ground, study it, and even x-ray it, but this thing doesn’t seem like anything they recognize.  And it has these funny roundish objects that fall out of it, too.  Hmmm.  Days pass, rain falls, things heat up, and by the time Norton and Alpha go out to collect again, a whole field of flowers has appeared.  Wonderful!

All would work nicely with younger kids who are starting to see how most everyone doesn’t fit into the expectations their world sometimes has for them.  Be who you are, they say, and don’t be afraid to be different or find something new to love.

Norton and Alpha by Kristyna Litten

Lily Wool by Paula Vásquez

BunnyBear by Andrea J. Loney and Carmen Saldaña

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Recipe for friendship

bear and chicken

“Chicken simmered in suspicion.”

Wow.  It’s so hard for bears who want to make friends with other animals.  Even black bears (which are mostly vegetarian, as you’ll find out if you read this book closely) can be lonely.  Sharp teeth and a talent with knives don’t really create a warm and fuzzy vibe, however, so you can understand why Chicken might be a little worried.

Then again, chickens have their own host of stereotypes to overcome—running around aimlessly, being a little skittish about everything.

Once in a while, a bear will save a chicken, warm it up by the fire, and invite it to lunch without planning to eat it.  It’s not a revolutionary concept to make something silly out of the predator and prey relationship, right?  Kids’ books have played with this idea before – Wolf’s Chicken Stew, That is Not a Good Idea, Wolfie the Bunny.  And Bear and Chicken will be a nice one to add to the stack.

Bear and Chicken by Jannie Ho

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Bird, Balloon, Bear – nature lovers, friends

bird balloon bearBear is just hanging out watching ants while waiting for a friend to appear.  I have been thinking a lot about science in picture books lately, but I don’t even care whether that’s scientifically accurate or not.  Maybe this is a whole new sub-genre for me to explore – animals who are nature lovers.

Anyway, both Bear and Bird are looking for friends.  Expectations are low.  Bear is willing to accept friendship with Balloon, who gets there first and doesn’t speak but is always there for Bear.  Bird is too shy to say anything and then inadvertently causes a disaster.  I actually gasped when I turned the page.  I did not expect THAT to happen, but then it was late at night and I was about 5 minutes from falling asleep.  That woke me up.

Will Bear and Bird overcome this?  Can they be friends?  They can.  They must.

Bird, Balloon, Bear by Il Sung Na

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Fun with bears – a few picture books for bear lovers


If you’re looking for scientifically accurate picture books about bears, you’ll have to keep looking.  If, however, you’ve been silently waiting and hoping for books with silly bears, bears in inner tubes and floatie things, bears wearing baby carriers for their adopted geese – well, my friend, this post is for you.

Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins is the book you’ve been waiting for.  Bruce the Bear has a history of eating eggs, but all of his fancy recipes will not help him when the goose eggs Mrs. Goose has “given” him unexpectedly hatch.  No matter what he does—dumping the goslings at their old nest, being extra grumpy—Bruce the Bear seems to have become Mother Bruce.

After reading this one, you might just need a few more silly and fun bear books.  Sometimes that happens, you know.  Some favorites of mine:

Horrible Bear by Amy Dyckman

A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach

Bear Alert by David Biedrzycki

Any of the Bear books by Karma Wilson

Any of the Frank Asch Moon Bear books

You Will Be My Friend by Peter Brown

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

And not silly, really,  but wonderful — The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield


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