Eat Like a Bear
written by April Pulley Sayre; illustrated by Steve Jenkins
2013 (Henry Holt)
Source: Orange County Public Library
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At first glance, eating like a bear might sound like a bit of fun. You assume that you eat a lot, including honey, and then take a nap. Not a bad life if you can have it. If this is your stance, reading Eat Like a Bear will change your point of view. First, you start moving around full time in April after hibernating and not being full for four months. When you look around, the bushes are lacking berries and there are no fish to be found in the stream. I get cranky if I can't find a Subway in 10 or 15 minutes. The bear, lacking a suburban life, settles for horsetail stems and frozen dead bison. I don't remember seeing leftover bison in the freezer case at Trader Joe's. May rolls around and dandelions and ants are on the menu. An appetizing elk calf is available in June, but it has developed strong enough legs to leave you panting and still hungry. Fortunately, trout become plentiful in the stream so life is not too bad. As the year progresses, the brown bear feasts on other items like ground squirrels, huckleberries, pine cones, and my favorite cutworm moths.
I like how the author sets up the text where students can use clues on the left side of the spread to make a prediction on what the bear will eat on the right side of the page. There are also plenty of vivid verbs which will make for an entertaining mini-lesson. Eat Like a Bear may not make you hungry in your stomach, but your brain will enjoy taking in the knowledge.