Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Little Brown Bear :: Read Aloud Thursday

Time for another Read Aloud Thursday over at Hope is the Word. This meme presents a chance for you to share books that you have read aloud with your kids with other moms, and collect ideas for your own future reads.  To learn more about this meme (and/or to participate in it yourself!) visit Hope is the Word.

* Note: Actually RAT is tomorrow but I'm participating in a blog tour tomorrow so I'm posting this a day early this month!

As we already documented earlier in the month, my kids and I read C.S. Lewis' The Silver Chair. Click on the title to read our thoughts and experiences in Narnia.

We also managed to squeeze in two additional short titles around certain overseas travels. We read the following:

First, we read Little Brown Bear by Elizabeth Upham which was published in 1942. I picked this book up on trade at a local used book store because it looked cute and, sure enough, it was. This book contains many short stories of Little Brown Bear who lives a happy life with Mother and Father Bear. Each story (or "chapter") tells of some adventure Little Brown Bear has in learning to keep his room neat, fooling his father on April Fool's Day, going to the county fair and having a party.

The story is told in regular prose, except for any quotes from the bear family members; everything the family says is said in rhyme. Little Bear himself is always noted as "singing", for he is a very happy, very polite and very lovable little bear. Little Bear is so polite that you might actually think that this book is full of moral lessons but I don't think that is necessarily intended by the author. I just think the character has a proper set of manners and knows how to treat his elders with respect. I think 1942 was a politer time to live in during which elders were given and received a greater amount of respect than they currently do. (I also think we should return to the idea of instilling respect into young children and if Little Bear can provide some examples to this end, then more power to him.)

Little Brown Bear was created by Elizabeth Upham McWebb. She lived in Michigan and was known for being a friendly conversationalist who was a wonderful story teller. I found this article online which speaks very highly of her, as well as shows us a picture of her with the statue that her hometown erected of her beloved furry character. It was fun to meet him through her book. I understand there are more stories available beyond the ones we read so we'll keep an eye out and see if we can find them.


We also read Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse, by George Selden (of the famed Cricket in Times Square). This is our collective first foray into the world of Seldon (in that I haven't read any other titles to the kids just yet) and I would say it was a success. In this particular story we meet a young mouse named Tucker and a young kitten named Harry. The two join forces in New York City and attempt to find a place where they can make a home with one another. You get to know the city a bit as they check out the basement of the Empire State Building, Times Square and the subway system. As it turns out, it can be hard to find a welcoming place to be in New York City and I can rather sympathize with them. (I'm a small town girl myself.)

The kids enjoyed the story. Bookworm1 said he enjoyed the entire thing, from start to finish. Several passages made him laugh outloud. Bookworm2 said he liked the "bad guy rats" and Bookworm3 said that she most decidedly did not like the rats.

Personally, my favorite part of the book was when my daughter snuggled up next to me and laid her head on my arm and was silent and cozy as I read. This book could have gone on forever as far as I was concerned.

It's been a fun reading month and I'm looking forward to many more read aloud opportunities with my kids in the future.

Thanks, Amy, for hosting!


bekahcubed said...

Little Brown Bear sounds like a lot of fun (more so than the Berenstein Bears, which I read as a child but kinda dislike now.)

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

The bear book sounds really sweet. Can you believe I've never read Cricket in Times Square? My girls have listened to the audio, but nope--I've never read it.

So glad you linked up!

Bluerose said...

I have to ditto Bekah! I got my boys a couple of the Berenstain Bears Treasury books for Valentines Day, and I realized how much I didn't like several of the stories. (although some are still cute)

I'm now on the lookout for Little Brown Bear, though!

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