Thursday, August 11, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book two hundred and twenty-three

Stella Blackstone's Bear books are one of my favorite series for young readers. Debbie Harter's wonderfully colorful and detailed illustrations are delightful, and the main character, Bear, is a charming fellow. In today's picture book, Stella Blackstone combines a birthday story with exercises in counting backwards.

Stella Blackstone
Illustrated by Debbie Harter
Picture Book
For ages 3 to 5
Barefoot Books, 2011, 978-1846865152
   It is Bear’s birthday today and he is busy preparing for his party. He blows up ten balloons and soon his nine guests arrive. Bear is holding nine balloons as he greets his guests, but one of the balloons gets loose and floats up into the sky.
   In the house, Bear and his friends play hide-and-seek. Can you find each of the nine bear guests? Oh and look, one of the balloons has escaped out of the window. There are only eight balloons left.
   After playing musical chairs and hunting for treasure outside, two more balloons are gone and the ten bears have only five balloons left. Will there be any balloons left when the party is over?
   In this clever and beautifully illustrated Bear book, children not only get to read about a wonderful birthday celebration, but they also get to count the disappearing balloons, the bear guests and more. In addition they get to follow the antics of Bear’s black and white striped cat who always, somehow, finds a way to be in on the action.
   At the back of the book, children will find a counting exercise to try. Can you find out why the balloons are disappearing, and can you help bear to count down from ten to one?
   This is one in a series of beautiful board and picture books about Bear, his friends and his family.

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