Picture Book Recommendation: OLD BEAR AND HIS CUB

Old Bear and His Cub book coverOld Bear loved his Little Cub with all his heart.
Little Cub loved Old Bear with all his heart.
Every morning they ate breakfast together.
‘Eat all your porridge, Little Cub,’ said Old Bear.
‘No, I won’t,’ said Little Cub.
‘Yes, you will,’ said Old Bear.
‘No, I won’t,’ said Little Cub.
Old Bear stared hard at Little Cub.
Little Cub ate his porridge.
All of it.

~~Excerpt from the first two pages.

Old Bear and His Cub is one of my new favorite books right now. My two-year old received a free copy last month from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Due to March is Reading Month, my five-year old has been reading aloud to me every night, and this has been one of our favorite books to read together.

The text is rhythmic and repetitive, so it’s easy for a five-year old to read most of the words. The story is charming in a way similar to Guess How Much I Love You, except the bears obviously have their differences in opinion. Sometimes, Old Bear wins. Sometimes, Little Cub wins. But they always love each other with all their hearts. The other thing I like is that the tables are turned on Old Bear. He tells Little Cub to tie his scarf tight, but  later on, Old Bear is the one who gets sick.

Gee, Old Bear, maybe you should have been the one to tie your scarf tight? Luckily, you have Little Cub to take care of you.

Make sure you check out the sketches and studies from the author when he was creating the images. He’s posted some alternative styles, and it’s neat to see the subtly different ways the book could have turned out.

A fun activity to complement Old Bear and His Cub would be to play doctor with your child. Pretend to be sick and let them think of ways to make you better. Alternatively, you could spend a special day one-on-one at the zoo. Make sure you pay special attention to the how the baby and parent animals interact while you’re there.

Themes: Love, Responsibility, Respect

Title: Old Bear and His Cub
Author/Illustrator: Olivier Dunrea
Reading level: Ages 3 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Philomel (November 11, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399245073
ISBN-13: 978-0399245077

Perfect Picture Book List on Susanna Leonard Hill’s Website


Author: Nessa

Librarian for people with visual and physical impairments, and mother of two sharp-witted alien children.

9 thoughts on “Picture Book Recommendation: OLD BEAR AND HIS CUB”

  1. A sweet story. When I saw the cover, I immediately thought of Guess How Much I Love You – a favorite of mine. Glad you mentioned it, too! 🙂

  2. What a fun and very lovely book. The cover alone would make me buy the book. Like the role reversal at the end. Kids like helping a parent feel better. Nice activities. Checked out the resources and loved the sketches. Thanks for including.

  3. I think my son would like this as he loves bears. Thanks for sharing the link to the sketches. It’s interesting to see more of the creation process. Illustrators change one thing and it changes the story just like writers can change one work and well, it changes the story.

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