Bear’s First Christmas

I love bear cubs.  They look so cute and cuddly.  I wish I could pick one up and just hold it for a while, with it’s mother away of course. the illustrator, Jim LaMarche, drew me to this book.  I love his colored pencil drawings.  One of my favorite books is The Raft.  Another favorite is A Story for Bear.

Robert Kinerk shares a poetic narrative about a young bear hibernating from the snow.  With our first sprinkling snow today, I was reminded of the introductory setting.

“It started to snow, and a bear, very young, Bear's First Christmas

caught two or three flakes on the tip of his tongue.

The coming snow could mean only one thing.

It meant that the bear had to sleep until spring.”

He’s enchanted with a mysterious sound in the book Bear’s First Christmas.  He starts to follow it through the deep snow.  On his journey, Bear helps some forest friends – a crow, a moose, and a pheasant family.   They all follow the sound to a home filled with singing, “a wonderful growing inside.”

I think the tale will leave the children wondering a bit.  You can bring in science discussion with hibernation, changing of seasons, and animal behaviors.  You can also discuss fact versus fiction.  The richness of  the language will be a delight for each child.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Bear’s First Christmas:

  • Vocabulary – trek, lair, ember
  • Contractions – who’d, she’d
  • Possessive – the bird’s home
  • Wonderings – what is the mysterious sound?  Why is the tree important?
  • Setting
  • Companionship – acts of kindness
  • Hyphen vs. Dash – well-hidden; stared — at the tree!

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