Monday, September 13, 2010

Bear's New Friend

Bear’s New Friend
Written by Karma Wilson, Illustrated by Jane Chapman
Picture Book: K-2
Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
Summary: Bear wants to go out to play, and as soon as he goes outside, he hear a noise. He spends the afternoon trying to figure out who is making that sound.

            I have read a book about Bear by this author before, Bear is Sick, and loved it, so I decided that this one might be a good read as well. When Bear hears a new noise, he is trying to figure out who is it so that he can play with him/her. I wish that his search was more interesting. We know that he hears a noise and that he is searching for whoever it is, and that his friends keep showing up, meaning that it is not one of his known friends. Thus, I wish there were more “clues” as to who it might be making the noise. I feel as thought this might keep the reader more interested, using the “clues” to stay actively engaged in trying to figure out where the noise is coming from. The story line is also interesting, for Bear is looking for someone to play with, not for a new friend. The book is adorable and has really fun illustrations, but I did not find the story line to be overly captivating.  (I must say I prefer Bear is Sick.)
            I think that if I were to use this book in my classroom, I might make it into more of a mystery, creating a more interactive lesson for my students. It might even be a fun book to “play” in class. I might create a lesson in which students take turns acting out the drama in the book, playing the separate characters, trying to determine “who?” It could fit into the curriculum during lessons on solving mysteries or following clues. It could also possibly work as a means to discuss friendship, although there is not a clear friendship message in the story. It might be used to supplement other lessons on friendship, including going out of one’s way to include others who might be shy (as Bear’s new friend is). 

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