Thursday, March 11, 2010

Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood was a pleasant surprise for me. One of my favorite books is The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear. Therefore, I was a little apprehensive when I discovered a book with the same characters had been published. I was relieved when I finished the book and found myself smiling.
Instead of the Big Hungry Bear being after Little Mouse's strawberry, he was after presents. The Big Hungry Bear never gets any presents, and Little Mouse decides to change that. It promotes such a positive message when Little Mouse decides to give the bear a present, and he discovers the bear left him a present as well. In fact, Little Mouse decorates the bear's cave with ornaments/lights/presents. This story was heart warming. In fact, I think I liked this book just as much (if not more) than the original.
The pictures are so detailed. I think this is an aspect of all of the books by Don and Audrey Wood. There are just so many small elements that work together to make a great illustration. Even the popcorn on the Christmas tree looks as though time and effort went in to creating it. The colors are so vibrant, and the text is larger than most picture books. I think young children would be able to read this book with little difficulty and would enjoy it. I also believe that around Christmas, this would be a fun book to read in the classroom. However, it would be key to include books that celebrate other winter holidays as well.
This book promotes a positive message to readers. Little Mouse is generous, kind, and shows a lot of compassion to the bear. I think these are all positive traits that I would like my future students to have. I think a discussion could be opened up surrounding this, and I would like to encourage my students to demonstrate these positive traits and talk about them as a group.

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