I love a book which isn’t afraid to ask the big questions, and this book asks the biggest of them all – why on earth are there so many books about bears? The rather genius story brings together some of the greatest animal minds in the world to try and come up with an answer.
The ‘summit’ takes place in the hallowed hall at Mollusc College in Oxford and is attended by William Snakespeare (a snake), Albert Swinestein (a pig), some PhDs (porcupines, hedgehogs and dragons with spines), Newton (a newt), Mary Shelley (a snail) and Trevor (an unassuming little mouse).
Many theories are put forward. Is it because ‘bear’ rhymes with so many good words? Is it because bears come in a handy variety of sizes? Or could it be because, with clothes on, bears look a lot like people?
Daddy Fartypants has a problem – he farts ALL THE TIME! And what’s worse is that he never owns up. Every time he does a bottom burp he blames someone else, whether that’s a tiny baby, a snail or a bear on the telly. It’s all a bit too much for his poor son who is embarrassed by both the smell and the white lies.
But then one day Daddy Fartypants gets a taste of his own medicine when his son’s new teacher, Miss Lovelybear lets out a massive paaaaaaarp and blames it on him! Daddy Fartypants is mortified, but is it enough to make him to change his ways?
Most parents will be familiar with the sense of trepidation you feel when starting a busy day with a small child in tow. You know it’s *possible* that everything could go to plan, but realistically you’re going to be late for everything (if you even manage to get out of the door at all).
Such is the plight of Mama Bear who has a very long list of things she needs to achieve before the end of the day, starting with dance class and a trip to the supermarket.
Little Bella Bear has other ideas though. She wants to bounce on her bed. She wants to wear the red outfit and not the blue outfit. She wants to count the stairs slowly on her way down. She wants an elaborate breakfast (which she inevitably wouldn’t eat!). She doesn’t want to brush her teeth. She might want to use the potty though – but not until it’s time to leave, and not without reading at least 3 books whilst she ‘tries’. Sound familiar?
Norman the bear loves honey. In fact, he loves it so much that he wishes he was a bee. Why? Because bees have 24/7 access to honey!
One day, Norman hatches a cunning plan. He pops on a giant bee costume and enrols himself at bee school. Naturally they are confused by the fact he’s much bigger than a normal bee but when he explains that he comes from Giant Bee Land they let him in. He throws himself in to his classes and very soon he can buzz, find smelly flowers and do a waggly dance just like all the other bees.
All of the bees love Norman but there is one bee who is a tiny bit suspicious. Determined to catch him out, she takes him to the honey stores to see his reaction -and that’s when it all starts to go wrong. Faced with jars and jars of honey, Norman just can’t help himself. He throws off his bee suit and eats it all up!
As much as we love Penguin Blue, we have to admit that Grrrrr! is our favourite book from Rob Biddulph.
The heartwarming story is about Fred, a highly competitive grizzly bear, who has won the ‘Best Bear in the Woods’ contest for the last 3 years in a row. He has lots of medal and trophies, but unfortunately he doesn’t have many friends because of all the time he spends training.
Fred excels at every discipline however his extremely loud Grrrrr! is what he is best known for. This means it comes as quite a shock when he wakes up on the morning of the competition to discover that he’s lost his roar! It seems to have disappeared right around the time that Boris, a new bear, arrived in town. Coincidence?
All of the local animals pitch in and help search for the missing growl but to no avail. Downhearted, poor Fred has to start the contest without it. Can his new friends help him win the competition without his Grrrrr! and will the culprit be unmasked?
This beautifully illustrated book by Rebecca Cobb is perfect for all of you parents out there who (like us!) struggle to get your child interested in sitting down and eating their meals.
The little girl in the story is very busy painting and playing with her toys, so when her mums calls her to tell her that lunch is ready she really doesn’t want to go and eat. She’s having far too much fun to stop for boring old food! Reluctantly she leaves what she’s doing and sits and stares at her lunch, looking grumpy, without eating a bite.
But then she spots a crocodile under the table. Then a bear. Then a wolf. The three fierce animals are VERY interested in her lunch, explaining that her soup, apple and sandwich are much more tasty than little children (who actually taste pretty disgusting). They gobble up her lunch and then thank her heartily for the lovely meal.
We are huge fans of Oliver Jeffers and I had thought we owned all of his books, until Ivy spotted this one in our local bookshop and started gleefully shouting ‘Bear! Bear! Bear!’. This is a special board book version of an earlier work called The Great Paper Caper.
The animals in the forest are all very confused. Lots and lots of branches were going missing from trees and their beloved home is beginning to look a little forlorn. What is happening to all the trees? At first the animals all blame each other but it soon becomes clear they all have alibis. Until one day they find a paper aeroplane with Bear’s paw prints all over it.
Is Bear responsible for damaging the trees and lying to his friends? And what’s with all the paper aeroplanes?
This little book about a parent’s love for their child is super cute and may have made me well up a little the first time Ivy and I read it together!
The gentle rhyme reassures your child that you will always be there for them in their life no matter what they are going through. Whether they are happy or sad, smiling or scared you will always walk besides them and help them in any way that you can.
The illustrations are delightful and really evoke the spirit of the book. Our version has shiny silver patches for the snow which Ivy really likes.
It’s not explicit within the book (but then i’m no polar bear expert!) but the back cover says that this is a daddy polar bear which is a lovely touch as so many of these types of books feature a mother instead.
Buy it now: https://amzn.to/2Hzc5La
We love this hilarious book by Ross Collins.
A little mouse in an adorable little jumper is absolutely furious to discover a polar bear sitting in his favourite chair. He tries everything he can think of to get the bear to move but he just keeps on sitting on that chair without a care in the world.
Finally the little mouse loses his patience and flips out. Will the bear pay attention?
The illustrations here are fantastic. I love the various stages of annoyance on the little mouse’s face and the nonchalance of the bear.
Ivy thinks it’s funny to press her hands against the pages and try to push the bear off the chair herself!
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2FVBWIF
This gorgeous book by Duncan Beedie is about a big old bear who can’t help but stare.
The animals who live near his cave all dislike him because they think he is really rude. However what they don’t realise is that poor Bear is just a little shy and socially awkward. He wants to get to know his forest friends but he clams up and doesn’t know what to say – hence the stares. A chance encounter with a little frog gives him the confidence to try something new.
Is it possible that a simple smile could help him make friends?
The illustrations in this one are gorgeous (and as a fairly socially awkward grown up I absolutely love the story and message behind it).
Buy it now: http://amzn.to/2Detljk