Author: Karma Wilson
Illustrator: Jane Chapman
Age Range: 2 to 5 years
The Bear books by Karma Wilson are some of our favorite books. Every library haul HAS to have at least one Bear book these days. Every Bear book is a lot of fun to read. Bear and his friends (Mouse, Hare, Badger, Mole, Wren, Raven and Owl) have little adventures in each book.
We started off with the Bear Feels Scared book. It was particularly relevant at that point because Laya had just started talking about being scared of the dark. In the book, Bear gets lost when he’s outside looking for a snack. It suddenly gets dark and it starts raining and he loses his way. And Bear feels scared. But soon, his friends put together a search party and go find him and then of course, in the warm company of all his friends, Bear feels safe. The book had more of an effect that I expected in making her realize that with friends and family around, she can always feel safe.
In addition to little messages like this, the Bear books help in understanding the habits of bears - their eating habits, hibernation, etc.
The Bear books are such a joy to read out. It’s not too long (my nightmare is a lengthy nighttime read that I have to read every night – sometimes multiple times a night!), the rhyming pattern is charming and the story line is very simple and easy to follow.
The illustrations are fabulous. They are full page illustrations with the writing placed strategically so the important aspects of the picture are not hidden. Bear and his friends are so cuddly and friendly looking. We spend a lot of time gazing at each page and identifying and talking about so many different aspects of the picture.
I can’t recommend the Bear series more for kids between 2 and 5.