Young Reader in the Making

Young Reader in the Making

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Book 187: Bear's New Friend

Bear's New Friend, written by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman, Simon & Schuster Children's Books, 2006.  Preschool to Early Elementary.

There is something quite wonderful about Karma Wilson's "Bear" books.  I never tire of reading them and I always look forward to the new ones.  In fact, I remember when this book was first added to our library collection.  Another children's librarian and I nearly arm-wrestled to determine who would read it first for Story Time.

Karma Wilson's "Bear" books, besides being entertaining reading, would make an excellent study on how to write a children's book in verse.  Her rhymes are not forced and her meter feels natural.  The story she tells would be just as strong without the verse, but the rhyming scheme does make her writing all the more memorable.  Because this is a "Bear" book, there is a little suspense and a happy resolution.

I love the way Jane Chapman illustrates the Bear and his friends.  Bear looks like a bear, Badger like a badger, Mole like a mole, and so on, but there is so much personality and expression in the animals you can tell what they are thinking even without the text.  This is a wonderful quality in children's books for transitional readers like my four-year-old son.  He can tell me the story based on the illustrations that is not so very different from the printed one.

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