It’s Monday – What Are You Reading? Bears, Birds and a Hammock!


It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week.  Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

This week, I discovered some wonderful new picture books about bears, along with a few other delights!  Here they are!

The Hiccup – Ingrid Sissung

Ever have the hiccups you could not get rid of?  Poor Elliot!  He eats his picnic food too quickly and ends up with a very bad case of the hiccups!  While he tries to get advice from various forest friends for a cure, his cousin Lutz finds the whole situation terribly funny.  Eventually, Lutz stumbles across a cure and helps Elliot out.  There are SO many things to love about this book – first –  the illustrations are adorable.  Kids will make connections to the hiccup theme but I also love the message of the importance of showing sympathy to others when they are in tough situations instead of laughing at them.  Wonderful book and I can’t wait to share it with my students!

I Am Not Little Red Riding Hood – Alessandro Lecis

Hmmm…. I felt a bit tricked by the title of this book because it has NOTHING to do with Little Red Riding Hood!  It’s unfortunate that the title throws you off so much because the story is very sweet.  A little girl (who has a red scarf not a red hood!) is collecting snowflakes in her basket and meets a polar bear who brings her to the place with the very best snow is, under the moon.  After a snow dance (LOVED this part!) she fills her basket with snow.  The bear explains that the snow will soon melt.  The snow does disappear, as does the bear.  There is something quite magical about this book – I just wish it was called “Snow Dance”! 

Cub’s Big World – Sarah L. Thomson

This is a beautiful and tender story about a baby cub experiencing the big world for the first time.  The words and pictures are very lyrical and lovely. I felt inspired to use this book for a winter world art lesson!  Great mother-cub relationship in a wintery world.  Loved it!

Baby Bear – Kadir Nelson

“When I am lost, I sit very still and try to listen to my heart. It speaks as softly and as sweetly as a gentle breeze. And it is never wrong. It will lead you home”  Can you stand it?  This book is simple, beautiful, extraordinary.  The voice of this little bear is so sweet and his words are so tender.  The illustrations are so beautiful and I felt so emotionally tied to this little bear as he tries to find his way home with the help of his forest friends.  Huge bear love.


The Very Brave Bear – Nick Bland

Cranky Bear is back and this time he and Boris Buffalo are trying to one-up each other to determine who the bravest!  This book is fun, has rhyming texts and would make a great read-aloud for younger children.

The Bear’s Song – Benjamin Chaud

Papa Bear is searching for Baby Bear after Baby gets lost chasing a bee.  This is a simple story but it is the illustrations that really made it stand out for me.  The details are FANTASTIC – so much to look at – they almost tell their own story!  You could spend many hours searching for all the hidden treasures!


Ten Birds Meet a Monster – Cybele Young

Canadian author/illustrator Cybele Young has given us another delightful book featuring the same Ten Birds she introduced us to in 2011.  I was thrilled to see this second book in what I hope is a series!  In her first book, 10 birds are trying to problem solve their way from one side of river to another.  In this book, the same clever birds are trying to come up with creative and increasingly elaborate ways to scare off a monster.  The black and white pen-ink illustrations are remarkable.  This book is clever, funny, and a GREAT companion to Ten Birds.

The True Story of Stellina – Matteo Pericoli

I found this book sitting on a table in my local library and was immediately attracted to the cover:  An adorable little bird sitting on the end of a pen – what could this story be about?  Turns out is a true story of a baby finch who falls out of her nest in the busy streets of New York City and is rescued by a woman named Holly (the author’s wife).  Holly looks to find somewhere to take the bird but ends up taking it home to her New York apartment and there, teaches it to eat, sing and fly.  This book is charming and the light airy illustrations are a delight.


 The Rice Bag Hammock – Shaeeza Haniff

Wow!  This book has SO much to celebrate!  It’s about family, community, play, diversity, sustainability, recycling – and I am still thinking of more!  It tells the journey of a simple burlap rice bag that is turned into a hammock and given as a gift.  Each page shows how the hammock is used in simple, repeating text. The story is set in scenic Guyana countryside and the illustrations are vibrant and colorful.   I loved the uplifting message that a simple handmade gift leads to many uses and much joy to so many.  A MUST HAVE book!

And those are my books this week!  Thanks for stopping by!

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Fats Suela

    All these books are adorable!!! Will definitely check all these out. The Bear’s Song is what stood out for me. Like you, it was the illustration that caught my attention. =)

    1. Adrienne Gear

      Fats – yes, adorable they are! The Bear’s Song is definitely one to explore – fabulous illustrations! Thanks for stopping by today!

  2. msyingling

    Oh! Bears! This is why I have so many picture books that I don’t need to read!

  3. carriegelson

    Love all of the bears! I just read Nick Bland’s book too – I find his bears hilarious. I really want to get my hands on this Kadir Nelson book. There are so many beautiful bear books – my students joke with me that I have a bear obsession – but it’s not me -it’s the picture book world in general! Bears, bears, bears everywhere! Isn’t The Bear’s Song amazing? So here I go again obsessing about bears . . . 🙂

    1. Adrienne Gear

      Yes, I saw Nick Bland’s book on your list today! His books are very funny. You will LOVE Kadir Nelson’s book! It’s definitely one that will tug on your heartstrings! Also – you will love the Hammock book – it’s definitely a “carrie” book! : )

  4. Tara Smith

    Lovely books like these make me miss teaching the younger lot!

  5. Adrienne Gear

    Yes, I am lucky to be able to use all these books with my students. Lots of great picture books that have been the foundation of some great lessons with older students too – and you have given me a great idea for a new post! Best picture books for older students! Thanks for stopping by, Tara and have a wonderful week!

  6. Holly Mueller

    Cute bear books! 🙂 I have Baby Bear waiting for me at the library. 🙂

  7. John Sanders

    Lovely books. I also enjoy reading good books in a hammock.

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