Don’t Feed the Bear
Kathleen Doherty, Author
Chip Wass, Illustrator
Sterling Children’s Books, Fiction, 2018
Suitable for Ages: 3 and up
Themes: Bear, Park, Ranger, Feeding, Battle, Sharing, Friendship
Opening: “Bear loved when campers left him grub. Mac and cheese…carrot cake…meatball stew!”
Bear had a perfectly great life…until Park Ranger put up a sign that read DON’T FEED THE BEAR.
Well, Bear isn’t about to let Park Ranger get away with claiming all the picnickers’ goodies for herself. Crafty Bear puts up a sign of his own and the battle for yummy grub is on! Each worthy (and hungry) competitor tries to persuade parkgoers to their side. At stake: delicious chow, like juicy burgers and cookies. Who will win this war of words?
Why I like this book:
Kathleen Doherty has penned a delightful and humorous story about a bear and a park ranger battling over the food left behind by parkgoers. Her text is simple and snappy and encourages children to read on their own. Doherty uses clever word play and words that are fun to read aloud to kids — SMACKITY! SMACK! WHOMP! and STOMPITY, STOMP, GRRRRRR!
The book theme can be translated into many real life situations like sibling squabbles over food, territory and possessions. Kids will learn about compromising and reconciliation. Somewhere the bear and ranger must meet. Perhaps they can become a team and work together.
Couple Doherty’s lively story with Chip Wass’s rip-roaring and cheerful cartoon-like illustrations, and kids will beg to read this story repeatedly at bedtime. Make sure you give kids enough time to study each page — it’s worth it! Who knows what they may add to the story. With summer fast approaching, this is a perfect read!
Resources: Time to pull out the paper, markers and crayons. Ask children who are the rooting for: Bear or Park Ranger. Let them choose a favorite scene or encounter in the story and draw their own version. If they are focused on the many signs that Bear and Park Ranger post, ask them what they may want to add.
Kathleen Doherty is a reading specialist who has taught elementary school for over thirty years. She loves writing humorous stories and read aloud to kids — that is, when she’s not having a scrumptious picnic and chowing down on s’mores.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.