The Curious Cares of Bears
written by Douglas Florian; illustrated by Sonia Sanchez
2017 (Little Bee Books)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
In springtime there's carefully climbing up trees,
and stealing the honey from beehives of bees.
Think you know everything about bears? You might be surprised by what you find out in The Curious Cares of Bears. What is not surprising is they like to climb trees and seek out honey. Chasing each other and wrestling also fall into the predictable category. But jump roping? Do they double dutch? And how about partying and dancing all night? I hope they do the electric slide although it looks like a conga line. Would you believe mountain biking for over fifty-five miles? I expect bears to relax in a lake and eat berries. Building a campfire and sharing a song? I wonder what songs bears would sing around a campfire. Teddy Bear by Elvis? They sure do have a good time until the cold winds blow signifying it's time to head for a den and hibernate.
Before reading this with a class, I would ask students to think about what the bears might do in the book as a way to work on prediction and to find out what their background knowledge is with bears. This is also a fun book that could be a terrific title for exploring the differences between fiction and nonfiction. You could create a class graphic organizer where you list what is fact and what is fiction in the book. With the rhymes in the book, this is an opportunity to work on phonemic awareness by covering up the last word in a spread. Students can think about what would rhyme and they would be practicing using illustrations to help figure out new words. Speaking of rhymes, you'll definitely want to consider this for a shared reading as well. With delightful artwork, a clever concept, and plenty of humor, The Curious Cares of Bears would be a great addition to a K-2 class collection and/or a bedtime story at home.