Publishing: Margaret K. McElderberry Books, New York, 1989
Description: A family is going on a bear hunt, and they must go through (Not over or under) several obstacles along the way. Illustrations switch between black and white for the narrative/chorus and color for the sounds of the obstacles.
Programming: The rhythm and song of this text would be great for participation. After reading through once, teach students some motions to go with the words so that you can read it together a second time.
Have students discuss and brainstorm onomatopeias other than the ones found in this book. They could create skits using at least five onomatopeias.
Publishing: Candlewick Press; Somerville, MA; 2011
Description: Timmy Bear and his mother recount the day in reverse order before he goes to sleep for the night.
Programming: This would be a good bedtime story for individual parents, or a good way for librarians and teachers to talk about time a chain of causes and events, because everything Timmy tells has a cause that came before it. Students might look at other stories, perhaps, popular folk and fairy tales and try to tell them backwards, pointing out what was the cause and what was the effect.
Publishing: Greenwillow Books, 2008
Description: Old Bear goes into hibernation for the winter and dreams of the spring, summer, autumn, and finally the winter. When he wakes up from his very long nap he walks into the spring day and realizes he isn’t dreaming.
Programming: Students could have a worksheet divided into four sections-one for each season. They could have paper shapes that they have to place in one season or another, such as snow, or falling leaves.
Publishing: Harcourt Brace & Company; San Diego, CA; 1995
Awards: 1996 Caldecott Honor
Description: Hare and Bear are neighbors. Bear has a lot of money and land, but is too lazy to grow anything. Hare, on the other hand, has no land or money, but is willing to work hard. He tells the sleeping Bear that he will plant the crops and they will split them 50/50, with Hare getting the bottoms and Bear getting the tops. Only all of the crops he plants have their edible portion underground. The next season Hare tricks Bear by making the opposite deal, and then a third time…until Bear finally wakes up and takes his land back. By that time, though, Hare has saved enough crops to sell and buy his land back.
Programming: This would be a good opportunity to grow something in the classroom-one or more of the vegetables mentioned. Or, for a simpler activity for younger students, you might go through the vegetables and make lists of those for which the bottoms are harvested and those for which the tops are harvested. Scholastic recommends having the students make a salad with all of the ingredients listed in the book. (http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/tops-bottoms-lesson-plan)
Publishing: Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA; 2011
Awards: Geisel Honor Book
Description: The predecessor to This is Not My Hat, this book tells the story of a bear who is looking for his hat. He finds it and takes revenge. Text and illustrations are both very simple, with a lot of reading between the lines.
Programming: I admit, I was having a hard time drawing my own ideas for this book, but this website has some great ideas:
Publishing: Roaring Book Press, New York, 2012
Description: Bear is getting sleepy, but before he goes into hibernation, he has a story to tell. Only, he cannot find anyone to tell it to. The illustrations of this text resemble Erin Stead’s typical style (which I love!), with soft colors and pencil lines.
Programming: This would be a good book for sharing with students about animals preparing for the winter. What do people do to prepare for the winter? A matching sheet with animals and their preparations might be a good way to drive this point home.
Note: This husband and wife duo is also responsible for Caldecott Medal winner, A Sick Day for Amos McGee.