Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Cub’s Big World

Cepeda, Joe (Illustrator)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2013. 32 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9780544057395 (hardcover)
9780544155480 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, 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:

Cub knows everything she needs to know about the world: “Mom was big and white and warm. Her nose was black. Her fur was soft. Her milk was sweet.” But when she ventures out of the den with her black-nosed mama bear she discovers the world is “Big, BIG, BIG!” She accidentally slips out of her mother’s sight and, when Cub tries to find her, she stumbles across a raven, an ermine’s black-tipped tail and a diving seal instead. Finally, she is wrapped up in her mother’s embrace, safe again.

Simple language has a lovely, poetic lilt and rhythm that drives the action forward: “Oops! The world was slippery, too. Down, down, down. Fast, fast, fast! The world was fun!” Text deals with fears of being alone as well as the reassurance of being held close: “The world was too big for a cub with no mom.” Her mother later comforts her: “‘Dear Cub, the world is big. I’ll be close by till you’re big, too.’”

Large format pages are filled edge to edge with sumptuous acrylic illustrations that depict the Arctic in colour and texture. With white swirls of snow, blue, green and purple skies, and an almost violet hue to the landscapes at times, images serve to immerse the reader in the point of view of a little cub and her tundra surroundings.

A lovely, soothing read-aloud.

  •  

    Discuss the title. Based on the front and back covers, make predictions about what the book will be about.

  •  Discuss what you know about polar bears. As you read, talk about the other animals Cub meets. What do you know about them?
  •  As your teacher reads aloud, add actions to the story when appropriate.
  •  

    How are mothers like mamma bears? Choose some sentences from the text, and also create your own, that talk about how your mom cares for you. Write a thank-you note to your mom.

  •  

    Brainstorm a list of the snow words you know. As the story is read aloud, add to the list.

  •  

    What snow-related actions are you familiar with? Which actions could a bear cub perform?

  •  

    Choral read the story with your teacher. Add actions when appropriate.

  •  

    How are mothers like mamma bears? Choose some sentences, (and maybe create some), that talk about how your mom cares for you. Cut and paste copied versions of these sentences to make a thank-you note for your mom.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Physical Education and Health