Share, Big Bear, Share!
written by Maureen Wright, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
2017 (Two Lions)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
But Bear just sighed with a dreamy grin, hugged his pail, and dug right in.
Bear is lying down on the grass feeling very pleased with himself. He has a large silver garbage can full of berries. Life is good. Some squirrels and birds look on in envy, but Bear is too busy with his face in the berries to notice. A wise old oak tree implores him to share, but Bear's not strong with paying attention, so he thinks the oak is telling him to comb his hair. Using a fish bone, he strokes through the fur on his head. Going back to eating his berries, Bear again hears the old oak tree urging him to share. This time, Bear thinks he hears the word lair. So Bear goes to his home, takes a peek inside, and then heads back to his pile of fruit. The back and forth between Bear and the old oak continues through more words until the tree has had enough. Instead of a short phrase, the tree gives Bear a four sentence lecture on sharing. This time, Bear finally gets the message. In a pivotal moment, Bear asks the other animals to forgive him and he turns the can on its side so they all can share. On the last page of the book, lying with his back against the old oak tree, Bear shares something else with his new friends in a piece of artwork that is simply sweet.
In news that is not new to anyone, sharing is hard for young students. They need role models to show them why it's important to give to others. Bear can be such a role model. Another use of Share, Big Bear, Share, would be to use the book for shared reading. Your class will have a lot of fun reading sentences like "He plopped his rump on the smooth tree stump and popped in a berry so juicy and plump." The vivid artwork will also allow classes to work on learning how to infer. Reading Share, Big Bear, Share will bear a lot of fruit in your classroom.