Sunday, October 18, 2009

Blog Tour/Review: Bear-ly There (and a Contest)

Bear-ly There (Hardcover), by Rebekah Raye. This book tells the story of a young boy named Charlie that faithfully takes care of his pet geese. When Charlie notices an uninvited guest -- a large brown bear -- in the backyard coming to eat the geese's food, he fears for their safety. Other neighbors have been having problems as well (one even wants to shoot the bear), so Charlie creates a poster with six practical solutions for "What to do if you have a bear in your backyard" ("1. Only put bird feeders out during the winter months, when bears are hibernating.") He puts it on the town bulletin board. Later that day, the bear makes a return visit to their yard, and he and his family are ready with a cacophony of loud instruments to drive the bear back into the forest where he belongs. Their plan works, and when they spot the bear again during a family picnic, he is enjoying some blueberry bushes back in the woods. As Charlie concludes: "That's sure better than seeing him in our backyard!" The author, Rebeckah Raye, is also a painter and and sculptor, and she has illustrated the tale beautifully. Teachers and parents can find companion activities and classroom discussion topics on the Tilbury House website. (In part, "Activity: What Do Bears Eat? Using some of these websites or books in your school library, research what bears eat. Are bears herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores? What kinds of wild foods would bears find in your area? Why would bears be hungriest in the spring?" I love that the author has taken the time to come up with these and that the publisher has made them available.  
(Reading level: ages 9-12).


"Charlie slowly looked around the corner of the house - there was the bear! When he saw Charlie, he turned and ran up the hill. The bird feeder was on the ground, empty. The compost pile was torn up and scattered over the lawn. It was time to come up with a plan to keep the bear where he belonged - in the woods."

Bookworm's interest at 22 months: We just "read" through the book together with me explaining the illustrations and making up my own text, as we often do with books that are clearly beyond his current age level. He sat through the whole book that way.

Parent's Peeve: None

Source: Review copy from publisher.


I wanted to do a companion craft with the Infant Bibliophile. The activities and discussions on the publisher website are great for older children, but of course wouldn't really work with a two-year old. He was a bit tired (and hungry), so I decided to do some chocolate painting. A corn-based cake (like a rice cake), some melted chocolate chips, freeze-dried blueberries for decoration, and a spoon to "paint" led to a happy toddler and a bear-like creation. (Edit: I'm linking this post up to the Weekly Unplugged Project at Unplug Your Kids, because this week's theme is "B" activities.)

Other bear-related books we own and enjoy (clicking on title brings you to our review post):
Busy Pandas

What bear-related books do you or your children enjoy? Have you ever seen a bear? Tell us about it!


Author Rebekah Raye and publisher Tilbury House have arranged to give out some fantastic prizes during this book tour.  

Blog Comment Prizes:
They will draw 9 lucky winners from all of those who leave comments on the participating tour posts, including this one, from October 16-30 to win one of the following prizes:
- A set of four art cards (2 sets available)
- A signed wildlife art print
- An original sketch from Bear-ly
- An original sketch from The Very Best Bed
- An original sketch from Thanks to the Animals
- A copy of Bear-ly
 There, The Very Best Bed, or Thanks to the Animals, signed by Rebekah Raye
Winners will be announced on Oct. 31, US/Canada addresses only, please.

Twitter Prize:
Everyone that participates in the Twitter Book Party, and/or posts anything about the tour using the hashtag #Bear
lyThere from October 15-30 will be entered to win a complete set of Bear-ly There, Thanks to the Animals, and The Very Best Bed, all signed by Rebekah Raye. Winners will be announced on Oct. 31, US/Canada addresses only, please.

So, leave a relevant comment on this post for your chance to win!  Tell us about when you've seen a bear, your favorite book starring a bear, or recommend another bear craft for us.  And then go over to Twitter and try your hand there, too.

Tour Schedule:

You can also visit (and comment on) the other blogs participating in this tour.  They are: 
Oct. 15 - Twitter Book Party (@bookbday)
Oct. 16 - Bri Meets Books

Oct. 17 -
In the Pages
Oct. 18 - Infant Bibliophile (that's us)
Oct. 19 -
Grass Stain Guru
Oct. 20 - M
argo Dill's Read These Books and Use Them!
Oct. 21 -
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Oct. 22 -
On My Bookshelf
Oct. 23 -
Nature Moms
Oct. 24 -
Tilbury House on Facebook
Oct. 25 -
Ready Set Read
Oct. 26 -
Mozi Esmé
Oct. 27 -
Anastasia Suen's Picture Book of the Day
Oct. 28 -
Byron T. Bear Foundation
Oct. 29 -
Amy Lundebrek's blog
Oct. 30 -
Get Bear Smart Society


Adventure Mom Janna said...

We got a book on Hippos at the library this week and after 4 days, I think I've read it about 20-25 times. She even disappeared while I fixed dinner. She went upstairs, got the book and came down saying "ippo, ippo." It's funny b/c for some odd reason I love hippos too.

We went to yellowstone park as a kid and I didn't see one bear. I was so disappointed. However, I love big animals. I'm not a bird and fish kinda gal. I want to see an animal that makes me swallow hard, and my eyes swell:)

MJ said...

I teach kindergarten. This would be great for my classroom. I have flannel board pieces for retelling Brown Bear, Brown Bear. The students love it!


Christy said...

My children would love to make bears with melted chocolate! Yum.

One of my favorite bear books is You're All My Favorites by Sam McBratney. We enjoy the books you mentioned too!

We have only seen bears in the zoo.

Infant Bibliophile said...

Janna, we just saw hippos at the Honolulu Zoo and we loved them too. I guess I've seen them before, but not so close up, and not through my son's eyes. He loves hippos ("heeeeepos" to him), and rhinos!

Green Mamma said...

Yum, chocolate painting! That sounds like a lot of fun and delicious too, :-) I know my 2 year old would love it.

MaryAnne said...

This book sounds fun! Another bear book we love is "Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?" by Martin Waddell.

As for bear incidents, the most memorable one I can think of is the morning of my brother's wedding. He got married in Colorado and we were staying in cabins in a fairly low population area. We woke up the morning of his wedding to find a brown bear in the (very large) trash bin for the group of cabins we were staying in!

Mom Unplugged said...

This sounds like a great book! Bears are very much a presence where I live and I like that they were able to frighten the bear away with noise rather than shoot it.

Here they say that you should pour a bit of bleach in every trash bag before you put it in your can. Apparently bears don't like bleach and that drives them away.

Thanks so much for joining in and I must say I really enjoy your reviews. I love how you refer to your child's interest at his age level and the activities. Very well done! Great resource!

Infant Bibliophile said...

"Mom Unplugged" - thanks so much for your kind words. You know I love your blog and the idea of the weekly unplugged project. I hope someday my son can start to write the children's perspective part of the reviews himself (or at least dictate to me). I think it will be fun to see what he comes up with.

Infant Bibliophile said...

Christy and MaryAnne, thank you for the book suggestions!

pippirose said...

It looks like such a wonderful book.
We see bears at camp, all the time.
pippirose59 at gmail dot com