Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween and a New Button

Happy Halloween from the Infant Bibliophile!  AKA  The UPS Man, Yellow Kitty Cat, Pirate, or King, depending on what mood strikes. 

Following in the footsteps of Mama Smiles, who recently posted about her new button (you can find it in our sidebar), we finally got this task off our to-do list too.  You can now find the code to add our button to your website on our right sidebar.   If you post our button, make sure to drop us a note and let us know.  Thank you!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Library Book Sale - Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, I posted Part 1 of our library book sale finds.  I was kindly reminded by someone tonight that I have yet to post Part 2.  I know you have all been on the edge of your seats.  Here are the other four books we picked up that day.

Tall (Hardcover), by Jez Alborough. This wonderfully charming tale is told with very, very few words (as in, three words other than "tall" and "small"). In this way, it reminded me of Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann. The illustrations are playful; you just want to smile along with the animals. Bobo the monkey feels "small." He finds a rock and stands upon it. Then he feels "tall," until a bigger animal comes along. He gets on the animal's shoulders, and then feels "tall" again, until another, and another, and another taller animal appear in turn. At the end, Bobo falls from his highest seat, into his mother's arms, and appears perfectly content being carried in her arms and feeling "small" once again.

Bookworm's interest at 23 months: I thought it was adorable that he ran to an ottoman and climbed up on it when we first read the page with the monkey climbing on the rock. Since then, Daddy and I have read the whole book to him quite a few times, and he loves showing off that he can "read" the words "tall," "bobo," and "mommy."

Parent's Peeve: None; I love this one!



I Love You So Much (Hardcover), by Carl Norac. Lola wakes up eager to share "special words" - so eager that the words are puffing out her hamster cheeks. Unfortunately, those she'd like to share the words with all seem too busy. Eventually, after some cute hamster pouting, she gets to share her special message with her parents, and she goes to bed happy. "Tomorrow's special words were already on the tip of her tongue."

Excerpt:

"'Mommy, I want to tell you . . . ," Lola whispered. 'Can it wait, angel?' said Mommy. 'You'll be late for school.' / On the school bus, it was much too noisy for Lola to say her special words."

Bookworm's interest at 23 months: He picked this one off the shelf himself at the book sale and insisted we buy it, every time I asked him if he was sure. Once we got home, he didn't make it all the way through. I'm not sure he really got what it was about. We'll keep trying.

Parent's Peeve: I like the idea of the story, and the parents being busy, etc. But trying to share the special words with various people throughout the day at school (like chasing after "Frankie, the Skateboard King" to try to "say her special words to him") didn't appeal to me as much. It is still a cute story, though, and I don't regret buying it.



Motherlove (Hardcover), by Virginia L. Kroll. My first impression when I opened this book was that it was beautiful. The illustrations of mother-child animals are lovely. The text is like two books in one. Poetry in large, bold text describes the various things that mothers do for their young. Then, smaller text on the page adds additional information for older readers. I love when books can grow with a reader in this way.

Excerpt:

"Some mothers are purry; all mothers are wonderfully warm. / They cradle and cuddle and coddle and huddle and spread out their wings in a storm. " "Like many birds, these mute swans sit carefully atop their babies. When the nestlings are older, parent birds shield them with their wings from wet or chilly weather."

Bookworm's interest at 23 months: He enjoys sitting as we read this together. I think he just likes listening to the rhythmic text (me too!), and he always says, "Mama!" when we get to the orangutan page, because I love seeing orangutans at the zoo.

Parent's Peeve: I agree with the amazon customer review that some of the text - like this "They're good at respecting, directing, protecting and teaching their offspring to fly. They separate hagglers and bring in the stragglers and know when (or not) to ask why" - is a little over the head of young readers. But I really enjoy reading it aloud, so I don't mind very much. While I like my son to understand what we read, I think books like this can also give him an appreciation for the rhythm of poetry and language generally, and that's equally important to me.



I've posted about a book called Peekaboo Morning before (link goes to our review).  We took the board book version out of the library often.  I was delighted to see the full-sized version at the sale.  The text appears to be identical to the board book version - short and simplest enough for the very earliest readers.  

And that rounds out the eight books we picked up at the sale.  Now I'm starting to think about birthday and Christmas purchases.  As of now, my birthday/Christmas buying plans include There Are Cats in This Book, My Truck is Stuck, and Richard Scarry's Best Storybook Ever.  They're all books we've read at the library and loved.  And I am thinking about stuffing homemade goodie bags at the Infant Bibliophile's birthday party next month with copies of Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks from A to Z (all links go to our reviews). 

Question: Have you started thinking about holiday shopping yet?  Have any other book purchases in mind?  Any children's books you're currently coveting?  Please share with us.

Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post to Amazon.com will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with Amazon.com.  

Review: Amadi's Snowman (Children's Book Re: Learning to Read)

Amadi's Snowman (Hardcover), by Katia Novet Saint-Lot. Set in Nigeria, Amadi's Snowman tells the story of a young boy who dreams of being a businessman. He has a knack for math, and sees no need for him to learn to read, despite his mother and a well-meaning neighbor's attempts to teach him. But when Amadi spots a boy at the market reading a book about a snowman, and learns what snow is for the first time, he realizes how much books can teach him, and how much he is missing. Walking home from the market, "the sign boards on the roadside seemed to laugh at him, their giant letters taunting him, daring him to understand their meaning." When the neighbor gifts him with the book, he resolves to learn to read, and "his heart is filled with joy." A beautiful story about literacy, Africa, and the power of books.

Excerpt:

"Amadi closed the book and looked at the cover. The boy seemed to smile at him, as if challenging him. Amadi smiled back. Yes, he'd learn about snow. And then he'd learn more, because when this book was finished, there'd be others. And the more he learned, the more he'd know."

Bookworm's interest at 23 months: He's too young; we'll try again in a few years. Suggested reading age: 4-8.


You can find discussion topics and companion activities on the publisher's website. For instance,
  • Find Nigeria on the map or globe. Make up a story about how you would travel there from your home. Your story can be told in writing, in words, in pictures or in movement/acting...
  • Research a game children play in Nigeria. Try it out.
  • Cook and eat fried plantains. Find out what other foods Amadi might eat.
Source: Review copy from publisher (Tilbury House).

Question: Who most influenced your learning to read, or your appreciation of reading? If I had to pinpoint one person in my life, I'd say my mother, because she stocked me with books, brought me to the library, and read often herself. Who was it for you -- a parent, sibling, teacher? Comment and tell us about it.

Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post to Amazon.com will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with Amazon.com.  

Monday, October 26, 2009

Review and Give-Away (Winter's Tail)

Today I am reviewing and hosting a give-away of a wonderful new release from Scholastic Press - Winter's Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned To Swim Again.  

Here is the publisher's synopsis: 

When Winter, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, was found trapped with her tail badly damaged, she was not expected to survive. This is her miraculous story, from her rescue to learning how to swim again to her unprecedented success using a prosthetic tail. This is also a celebration of her indomitable spirit.

It wasn't until I sat down to type up my review that I realized that Winter's Tail  is written by the authors of Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship (a New York Times bestseller that I have been meaning to read; see recent review on Mama Smiles blog) and How One Little Polar Bear Captivated The World (Knut).  It is no surprise then, that this endearing book is so beautifully written.  I think it would appeal to any fans of animal and ocean life, but would be an especially wonderful book for children with prosthetic devices, hearing aids, or other assistive devices.

Excerpt: "One cold winter morning, just off the east coast of Florida, a baby female dolphin managed to get tangled up in a crab trap.  In the effort to free herself, the dolphin caused the ropes securing the crab trap to the buoy to become wrapped around her tail.  The more she struggled, the tighter the ropes became, quickly strangling her tail.  Luckily, a nearby fisherman caught a glimpse of this unusual situation and came to set the little dolphin free.  It was not clear she would survive.  And even if she did survive, how would a dolphin manage without a tail?  How would she swim?  How would she thrive?  Life without her tail would cause many challenges, but with the help and case of a great number of dedicated people, a dolphin named Winter would beat the odds.  In return, Winter's story would inspire and warm the hearts of people all over the world."

The photographs throughout the book alternate between beautiful shots of Winter swimming and detailed images of her rescue and treatment.  They show the multitude of people who were involved with her care and the wonderful reception she received from an adoring public.

The suggested reading age is 4-8.  I just flipped through the photos with our two-year old Bibliophile and then read it on my own.


Additional Links


Give-Away Details



One reader will receive a  Winter’s Tail prize pack consisting of:

Prize value is $81.99!


How to Enter:

1. Comment on this post for one entry.

2. Follow or subscribe to Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile and leave a comment letting us know.

3. Blog about this give-away and leave a comment letting us know.

4. Tweet with a link to the give-away and leave a comment letting us know.

Maximum number of entries: 4 per person.  The Winter’s Tail book promotion is open to participants with a United States mailing address only (international readers can enter if they have a friend in the States who can accept their prizes by mail).  Please make sure that I have a way to contact you if your email address is not available in your profile.  Deadline: November 9, 2009, midnight, Mountain Time.


Essay Contest

If you have any young readers/writers in your home, or if you are a teacher, take a look at this essay contest that Scholastic is running.  "Scholastic wants to hear about an animal that has most inspired your children by having them tell us about their favorite animal hero in 200 words or less.  One grand prize winner and his/her guardian will receive a trip to visit Winter at her home in Clearwater, Florida, one night's stay at a hotel, $500 travel voucher, a Winter prize pack and a Nintendo DS Game system!  10 runners up with receive a copy of Winter's Tail, a Winter's Tail Nintendo DS game and a Winter plush doll!"  


I was provided with one copy of Winter's Tail in order to write this review.  Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post to Amazon.com will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with Amazon.com.  

Saturday, October 24, 2009

24 Hour Read-a-Thon: Mini Challenge

Today over 300 book bloggers across the world are participating in a 24 hour read-a-thon, the fourth of its kind.  It sounds like great fun.  I briefly considered signing up, but it turns out to be on the same day that I helped to organize a Halloween party for 60-70 people (half of whom are kids).  So, I have signed on to be a "cheerleader" - someone who visits the pages of those participating in the read-a-thon to offer encouragement -  for at least 4 hours throughout the day/night.  

And I'm also hosting this mini challenge.  To those visiting Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile from the Read-a-thon, welcome.  Way to go!  Hip Hip Hooray!  You're over halfway there!   Here is my challenge to you:

Give Me Five: Go to your blog and post a list of five favorite children's books.  They don't have to be THE five end-all-be-all of your favorites, because then you'll just agonize over which ones to pick, and we want this to be easy.  Just list five off the top of your head that you enjoyed as a child, or that your children enjoy.  If you'd like, include a one sentence description of the book, but no need to post full reviews.  Then come back here, and leave a comment with the URL to your blog post.  The contest will remain open for three hours (until 1AM mountain time).  I'll pick a winner from the comments using random.org.  That person will win a $15 ebay gift certificate.  Please make sure I have a way to contact you if your email is not available in your profile. Because the prize will be delivered electronically, this challenge is open worldwide.

Now, where did I put those pom poms?

UPDATE:  The winner is: Monica.  Congratulations!

A You're Adorable (Children's Book Review)

This week we reread a book that failed to capture the Infant Bibliophile's attention 6 months ago.  Today, it is topping the charts.  It also sticks in my head. ALL.  THE.  TIME.  And every time I accidentally start to hum it, he runs to grab the book, and we're off to the races again.  

A You're Adorable (Paperback), by Martha Alexander. A Scholastic alphabet book read/sing to the 1940's tune of "A You're Adorable." The soft watercolor illustrations depict a parade of children and animals interacting with a large capital letter on every page.

Excerpt:

See below.

Bookworm's interest at 23 months: We first tried this one at 17 months, and he wasn't interested at all. At 23 months, he really enjoys and interacts with the book. We have a little routine going when we read it. He points to each letter. When I sing, "A you're adorable," he repeats "adorable" in that adorably garbled way that only a 2-year old could. When I get to C ("you're a cutie full of charms"), he says, "mama!" I ask, "Mama is a cutie full of charms?" and he says, "yeah!" At "K you're so kissable," he puckers up. "F you're a feather in my arms" - he lays his head down (took me awhile to make the connection... "in my arms" = sleep, so he feigns sleep). You get the idea. We have a lot of fun with this one.

Other books that we own and that are traditionally sung are this Itsy Bitsy Spider board book (review here), and a few children's nursery rhyme books that we reviewed here).

I've heard good things about What a Wonderful World and Puff, the Magic Dragon . I also had Sunshine on My Shoulders in my hands at the last library sale and left without it (it was one of my grandfather's favorite songs, and I have such nice memories of it, but I didn't think it would appeal to the little guy yet, so I hemmed and hawed.)


Leave us a comment! Do you have any books set to tunes that you like to read/sing? Have you read any of the books mentioned above? Please share!

Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post to Amazon.com will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with Amazon.com.  

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Autumn Outdoor Story Time (Guest Post from Frugal Family Fun)

I love reading other blogs.  My Google Reader is bursting at the seams.  But among the 160 blogs that I currently follow, a handful stand out to me, because they are authored by women that I like to think I'd be friends with if they lived in my neighborhood.  One of those stand-out bloggers, for me, is Valerie at Frugal Family Fun.  After all, who wouldn't want to be friends with someone who does this, and this, for their friends and neighbors?  (Not to mention this).  So, when Valerie contacted me about guest posting on our blog, I was elated.  You can visit Frugal Family Fun today to see our guest post on making the most out of library book sales.  But first, enjoy Valerie's wonderful guest post (and the interspersed photos of her beautiful kids) here:

Autumn Outdoor Story Time

Hello! My name is Valerie, and I blog daily over at Frugal Family Fun Blog. I am so happy to be here guest posting on Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile today! I have two daughters -- Emily (5 yrs.) and Clara (1 yr.), and I frequently write about inexpensive craft and activity ideas. Lately, we have been inspired by nature's Autumn beauty. I thought I would share one of our most recent outdoor story times with you.

First, I want to point out that books do not need to be read indoors!  If the weather is nice, grab your book tote and head outside. Find a cozy spot under a tree, and crack open that book.

Some of our Autumn favorites include:

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt -- What a fun read this turned out to be, and we will surely be exploring more from the Scaredy Squirrel series. Emily appreciated the humor in this book, and so did I.  Scaredy Squirrel never leaves his tree, until one day when the unexpected occurs. This has been a frequently requested book in our household.

Why Do Leaves Change Color? (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 2)? by Betsy Maestro and Loretta Krupinski -- If your child is always asking questions, you may want to check out this book. The science behind why leaves change color is explored in accurate detail, but in terms children can understand. If you are outside while reading this, be sure to allow enough time for some Autumn leaf collecting.

Squirrels (Nature's Children) -- During Autumn squirrels can be seen while they busily prepare for the Winter months ahead. This book explores where squirrels go during Winter, where baby squirrels are born, and introduces kids to several different varieties of squirrels. We have found the Nature's Children series to be thorough, and both Emily and I have learned a thing or two about various species by picking up one of these books.

Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert -- This is an Autumn classic. We love the vivid colors and interesting illustrations. The life cycle of a Sugar Maple tree is explored, and Emily also enjoyed the Appendix in the back which explains the parts of the tree and their various functions. Afterwards, she was inspired to draw her own version of a Sugar Maple tree during various seasons.

After all that reading, you simply must rake up a large pile of leaves and jump in!

Have fun!

Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post to Amazon.com will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with Amazon.com.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Library Book Sale - Part 1 (Children's Books About Transportation)

This weekend we attended our local library book sale, and I was delighted at both our finds and our self control.  We ended up with 8 picture books (7 hardcover and 1 seemingly brand new paperback) and spent $8.  I valiantly resisted going to the last day of the sale, during which you can fill a bag for a set price, because I found myself taking home books I really didn't want last year just to fill our bag.  

Today I'm posting reviews for the four books we bought about transportation.  I remember scrambling last year to find any, so we were thrilled about these:

Dazzling Diggers (Amazing Machines) (Paperback), by Tony Mitton. A fun, brightly illustrated paperback book about diggers. The construction crew is made up of a mouse, bird, and bunny rabbit, but I'm not sure our little guy even noticed, once he saw the diggers. The last page defines various "digger parts," such as levers, bucket, tracks and breaker. I like the amount of text per page (just right for a toddler), and that, although short, the text contains new concepts, such as using oil to fuel the digger, jacks to keep the digger steady, or a piston to make parts of the digger move around.

Excerpt:

"Diggers move rubble and rocks and soil, / so diggers need drinks of diesel oil."

Bookworm's interest at 23 months: Loves it.



Construction (First Discovery Books) (Spiral-bound), by Claude Delafosse. From back cover: "In this unique introduction to Construction, A First Discovery Book, young children can visit a construction site, find out what a mason and a joiner do, learn how a new subway is built, and marvel at the world's greatest constructions!" As soon as I opened this book, I realized that it was part of a series which includes one of the little guy's favorite books (Cars & Trucks: Scholastic First Discovery - see our review here). The story and text are slightly more detailed in this Construction one, making it suitable for older children. There are really a few stories here, loosely joined: the first about an old building being replaced, then a new subway being built, then an expressway, some shipbuilding, and lastly, a two-page spread looking at some of the world's greatest constructions. Occasional plastic pages and a 3D sort of effect to some of the illustrations add visual interest.

Excerpt:

"The old buildings are dangerous and need to be replaced. Big machines, like this front-end loader, arrive so that construction can begin."

Bookworm's interest at 23 months: So far he hasn't really grabbed onto this one the way I thought he would, but I think it's partly a matter of timing (many new books at once) and that it is better suited for a slightly older child. I think he'll love it over time.



Subway (Hardcover), by Anastasia Suen (illustrated by Karen Katz). I rode the subway to work every day while pregnant with our son (standing, usually, but that's another story). I used to think he'd be lulled by "Next stop, downtown crossing!" like other moms hope their babies will be lulled by classical music that they were exposed to in utero. And when he was an infant, I'd bundle us both up and go meet Dad for lunch. As he got a little older, he seemed to really enjoy interacting with other passengers on the subway. So I was excited to see this book, by an author whose other books we've enjoyed (Anastasia Suen) and an illustrator (Karen Katz) who needs no introduction (but, just in case, does "Where is Baby's Bellybutton ring a bell?). The text is short and simple. The excerpt, for instance, is all the text for a two page spread. The illustrations are bright and bold, with a playful (and diverse) set of subway passengers.

Excerpt:

"side by side 
in cars we ride 
ride, ride, ride 
on the subway"

Bookworm's interest at 23 months: He's wasn't wildly interested in this one. Sadly, he probably doesn't have any memory of riding the subway at this point, since we moved away from the city when he was 1. A child who rides the subway often might enjoy it more.

Parent's Peeve: I know children like repetition, so I'm a little torn on this point, but the three word repetition pattern feels a little awkward when I read it aloud. I have a similar problem with another book (Summery Saturday Morning, by Margaret Mahy - review here), and I end up sort of singing that one, and then I really like it. But I don't know if that would really work for me on this one. I'd like to hear someone else read this type of pattern aloud to see if it's just me. Youtube video anyone?



Katy and the Big Snow (Hardcover), by Virginia Lee Burton. I snatched this (near perfect) copy up as soon as I saw the author. We read The Little House (review here) by the same author around the time of Earth Day. This was originally published in 1943, and the style of the illustrations is charmingly nostalgic. "Katy" is a tractor with a bulldozer and snow plow. She belongs to the Highway Department of the City of Geoppolis. The book details all of the ways she helps the city, working on the roads with her bulldozer, rescuing a steamroller from a pond, and (most importantly) plowing everyone out of a huge snowstorm.

Excerpt:

"'Help! Emergency!' called out the doctor. 'Help me get this patient to the hospital way out in West Geoppolis.' 'Sure,' said Katy. 'Follow me.' / So Katy plowed out the roads to the hospital."

Bookworm's interest at 23 months: He made it about halfway through. Definitely better for a slightly older child (although not out of the question at all for a two year old), but this is one that I'm happy to own for when he's ready for it.




Have you read any of these?  Did you enjoy them?  Do you attend your library's book sales?  What children's books have you enjoyed enough to buy lately?   

Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post to Amazon.com will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with Amazon.com.  

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Winner (Vinyl Banner)

The winner of our custom vinyl banner give-away from Uprinting.com is: 


MOMFOREVERANDEVER said...

would offer to a friend who is a small at home business who goes to fairs/events on weekends. This might help her look more professional and boost business and help people remember her name


Congratulations!


Disclosure/Review Policy


The primary aims of this blog are to record and share the reactions of our son to the books he reads, and to share our homeschooling and craft activities.  Secondary goals are to promote early literacy, provide ideas for educational activities for young children, encourage parents to read to their children, and assist with the selection of quality books.  In accordance with those goals, we occasionally accept children's board or picture books for review from publishers.  We are not paid to review these books, but we do generally get to keep the review copy sent to us.  We read the book and review it on our blog with our honest opinion.  Sometimes we keep the books, and sometimes we donate them to our local library.  On each of our reviews, we will indicate when a book that we are reviewing has been received from a publisher, generally in language such as "We received a publisher copy of X Book in order to write this review."  We do our best not to let the source of the book sway our review in any way.  When the source has not been noted in a review, it is most likely a library copy, or a personal purchase for our home collection.  We sometimes agree to host book give-aways for publishers.  At this time, we do not receive any direct monetary compensation for doing so, and the prize ships directly from the publisher or author.

In addition to book reviews, we have reviewed a small number of educational or play items, such as wooden puzzles and games.  In the future, as our son's interests expand, we may choose to review additional learning activities and board games.   When we receive a copy of a product for free in order to conduct the review, we will clearly indicate this fact in our review, but our review will reflect our honest opinion of the item.

At one time, Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile also participated in a Blog Sponsorship Program run by Uprinting.com.  Occasionally we hosted give-aways for the company, in which readers entered by leaving comments on the blog post.  In exchange, we received a "Blogger Appreciation Prize" of the same item being given away, and indicated this fact clearly in the relevant posts.  We have also received advertising funds from Uprinting.com for advertisements appearing in our sidebar.  At this time, we have stopped participating in give aways sponsored by Uprinting, and no longer receive advertising funds from them.

We have an affiliate account with Amazon.com.  When a reader clicks through a book title or image from Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile to Amazon.com, and makes a purchase, we receive a modest commission on those purchases.  It occasionally helps the Infant Bibliophile add a new book to his collection.  In the interests of full disclosure, all posts will now contain a disclosure similar to the following: "If you click on any of the links in this post and purchase anything, we may earn a small commission through our affiliate relationship with Amazon.com."

We occasionally post other advertisements in our sidebar or following our posts.  None of these advertisements influence the content of our blog posts in any way.  In some cases, we will receive a small commission when a reader clicks through the links and/or makes a purchase after doing so. 

If you are interested in posting an advertisement in our sidebar, or in having a children's book, game, educational item, or toy aimed at young children reviewed, you may contact us through the email address in our profile.  We will occasionally update this Disclosure/Review Policy.  If you have any questions about it, feel free to contact us.

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).

Excerpt:

"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.


Craft:

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!

Contest:

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
 There
- 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