Tag Archives: learning to reading

Bears Don’t Read!

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Gracie found the perfect place to read this super-duper story

Bears Don’t Read!
Emma Chichester Clark
Harper Collins Children’s Books
George, an immediately endearing bear, is bored. Something of a philosopher, he’s convinced there must be more to life than fishing, chatting and going over the same old stories. The question is, what? One day he chances upon a book lying under a tree: a book that just happens to feature a bear. This bear however is living life to the full and that fires an ambition in George: he must learn to read.
Despite discouragement from his siblings, George (a bear after my own heart) goes to town, full of determination to discover new stories and find someone to teach him to read. Imagine the response of the townspeople to see a huge grizzly bear among them: panic ensues and before long George is surrounded by police.

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Thank goodness then for plucky young Clementine who recognizes her very own book, thus saving the day for our ursine friend. A learner reader herself, Clementine invites George to become a co-learner and fortunately for both, her mother a sensible type, agrees to the plan and thus it is that the new friends continue on their reading journey together. George becomes a resident in Clementine’s family summerhouse and every day after she returns from school, Clementine teaches George what’s she’s learned. Finally after a lot of hard work, joy of joys, George is able to read from cover to cover his very own book.

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Apart from being a wonderfully satisfying story, this book has so many positive messages about reading, the most pertinent, the vital importance of reading aloud to learners is demonstrated by the chief of police who comes to read poetry to George.

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Then there is the fact that George doesn’t find reading comes easily to him but with the help and support of an understanding, patient teacher, he eventually succeeds; that, and of course, his own determination to learn. And, what better parting message than this final line, ‘And for George – that was just the beginning.’ I also love the bookplate at the start, which hints at that final denouement.
Beautifully illustrated, richly detailed and executed in a range of shades ranging from bold and bright to slightly more gentle in the outdoor sunny scenes and there’s a gorgeous glowing moonlit scene. Emma Chichester Clark has made clever use of collage in this book – for the trees and other flora, butterflies, clothes and the frames

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for some of the smaller single page scenes, to mention just some.

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