Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Bear Griz

In other parts of the world, I imagine parents talking to their children about walking loudly to scare off snakes and not walking into lakes for fear of alligators.  I give the "don't run or scream" lecture for bear safety up here in Alaska.  My three year old knows to "stay close to mom" and mom will "spray the bear" (most hikers carry bear spray to "help" if attacked).  I don't know how much he understands, but I hope it sticks if needed.  

I realized I needed to tone it down a bit when he was given a stuffed bear for his birthday and he said it was "too dangerous".  Thank goodness for Suzanne McGinness's book, My Bear Griz.  As my children often enjoy reading a book multiple times (read as ten times without stopping or getting up from the couch), I am overjoyed when a book has illustrations and a story that I enjoy.  The drawings have movement, express emotion and are child friendly.  These are the types of drawings that would be perfect framed in a nursery or hung in a preschool.

The book shows a boy and a large Grizzly Bear walking through the woods, exchanging secrets and sharing a sandwich.  They have an adventure and emerge from the woods as a young boy dragging his teddy bear by the arm.  The imagination of the child is evident, without having to be expressed in words.  Of course, we do have a little discussion about not feeding wild animals your sandwich or trying to ride upon bears in the forest.  It allows us to talk about bear safety in a slightly less scary and graphic way.
(Bear proof, and child proof, trash can at a trailhead)

This book holds appeal for a wide age range as my 1 1/2 year old asks to read it as often as my three year old.  It will be a wonderful first reader as well due to the simple words that pair beautifully with the drawings.  I am glad that it is a hard cover as they like it so much!  It seems I notice something new each time I examine the pages - a silly comment from the bear or how the child's expression changes.

 (I found some more amazing art work by Suzanne McGinness on the web)

I give this book my Alaskan Mom Approval for its fabulous drawings, humorous wording and giving me a softer approach to bear safety.  I think this is going to be my "go to gift" for two year olds paired with some smart wool socks.  Thank you to the publisher, Frances Lincoln Ltd., for letting me review this book.

 (I found some more amazing art work by Suzanne McGinness on the web)

Click here to go to Amazon to purchase your kiddo a copy of 
My Bear Griz! (currently listing at $14.00)

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