Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Bears Don’t Read!

Clark, Emma Chichester (Author/Illustrator)
HarperCollins 2014. 32 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9780007425181 (hardcover)
9780007425198 (paperback)
9780007586813 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, dialogue, setting

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

George the bear doesn’t fit in with his brothers and sisters who “were perfectly happy chatting, fishing – doing usual bear things.” He knows his life is missing something, but isn’t sure what. One day, he finds a book about a bear and wishes he could read it, so he heads into town to find someone to teach him.

Town and human beings are not quite what George has imagined, even though his fellow bears warned him what to expect. Everyone flees from him, screaming. The police surround him, thinking he is dangerous. It is not until a little girl named Clementine, the book’s owner, offers to teach George to read, that things start to settle down.

Whimsical mixed-media illustrations in warm primary colours enrich the storytelling, filling the oversized pages with dynamic and varied layouts. Visuals create a sense of movement, from the jagged cut-out of police in riot gear surrounding George, to the townspeople running, frantic, across a two-page spread.

Language is humorous and rich, with strong use of dialogue and voice.

Themes of learning to read and finding friendship are subtly portrayed. “Before he slept he opened the book again and again and gazed at the words. Already he felt that the world was a more interesting place.”

  •  

    Go for a picture walk. Discuss the characters and settings. Stop on the page where it says “Stand Back!” Predict what will happen next.

  •  

    As the story is read aloud, compare your predictions to the actual story.

  •  

    To build reading fluency and expression, do a choral reading of the story, bearing in mind which character is speaking and the voice and intonation that is intended in the writing.

  •  

    Invent your own story in which you must teach another animal an unlikely skill such as teaching a bird to swim.

  •  

    Go for a picture walk. Discuss the characters and settings. Make predictions about the story after “Stand Back!”

  •  

    As the story is read aloud, compare your predictions with the story.

  •  

    Choral read the story. Choose a main character and join in, using the proper intonation, as the teacher reads the narrative parts.

  •  Create a mind map of the story.
  •  

    Discuss the steps that Bear took to learn to read. Do they also work for reading in your second language?

  • To cooperate with others
  • To use information