I came across a really nice book la couple of days ago in a small toys and kids’ store at Kemps Corner. This is a little shop where I used to go as a kid with my grandmom to get board games or simple TT rackets. I walked in there after many many years because i saw really nice chunky beads in the store window that i wanted for the boys. After picking up the beads…and some stickers..and googly eyes…and some pompoms and paying the man, i discovered that under a pile of board games and modeling clay was a shelf full of books. I spotted Maurice Sendak’s name on one and pulled it out…That’s how I stumbled upon ‘A Kiss for Little Bear’ by Else Holmelund Minarik. I had never read a Little Bear book before and now that we read this one, i have to go online or back to the little shop to look for the rest of the series. Right from the fairly “wild thingesque” picture on the first page to the delightfully simple, repetitive and circular story line, this book won me over. The illustrations are simple as is the plot. Little bear draws a picture for his grandma…hen delivers it and is asked in return to deliver a kiss from Grandma to Little Bear. The kiss is passed on between several animals till it finally gets to Little Bear who is all set to send it back to his grand mother.
While this book was sold as an early reader or a book for beginning readers, it can very well be used for read alouds with younger kids. Mine (now a little shy of 2 1/2) really liked it. They knew all the vocabulary and they totally related to the drawing and sending pictures to people bit. Also, it was nice to have grandma featured in the book as my boys spend a decent amount of time with both their grandmoms and often draw stuff for them that they most adoringly keep.
This may also be fun to do with puppets…Am thinking of making stick puppets (using ice cream sticks and paper) so the boys can try and enact the story as we read it or for retelling.