Old Bear and His Cub
written and illustrated by Olivier Dunrea
(Philomel Books) 2010
Source: Mebane Public Library
Old Bear and Little Cub love each other very much. And sometimes love means having to tell someone something for their own good instead of what they want to hear. For instance, Little Cub does not want to eat his porridge, but after a stern glance from Old Bear he decides to eat it. Old Bear admonishes Little Cub to tie his scarf around his neck so he won't catch a cold. Little Cub is not warm to the idea, but he decides to wrap the scarf after a patient and loving "Yes, you will" from Old Bear. While on their way home from a walk, Old Bear sneezes. This time there is a role reversal and Little Cub has to remind Old Bear to wear a scarf. When they arrive at home, Little Cub lovingly but sternly tells Old Bear that he needs to get into bed and drink some blackberry tea. Old Bear doesn't want to do this, but Little Cub stands his ground and the grouchy bear follows through with the instructions.
Old Bear and His Cub is a beautifully illustrated picture book. Little Cub and Old Bear are a pair that would make for a good discussion to explain to children why we have to sometimes tell them things they do not want to hear. This ursine pair also serve as a role model to those of us who work with children in that we need to be consistent and patient with our little folks. Another good use for this book would be to show how characters change during the course of a text.
Visit Olivier Dunrea's website (linked to his name above) for some interesting behind the scenes information about his creation of this book.
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