The Picture Book Buzz

Board Book Treasures - Welcome Home, Bear

First things first - congratulations to the winner of an autographed copy of LiNES by Sarvinder Naberhaus:

Sherrie Choong

Growing up an Army brat, I developed a bit of wanderlust. When I moved to the Pacific Northwest (for college), I fell in love with the area and have stayed here ever since. Because I still get the itch to explore and experience new places, I travel as much as possible.

For me, only a rare few locations ever tempted me away from my home in Washington State. I have to admit, Switzerland came very close. But I missed the sheer variety of evergreen and deciduous trees, the mountains, and the sound. So, like Bear, I found it's fun to visit other areas, but there's no place like home.

Welcome Home, Bear

Author/Illustrator: Il Sung Na

Publisher: Albert A. Knopf (2016)

Ages: All

Fiction

Themes:

Wanderlust, the comfort of home, and animal habitats.

Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble):

Bear is tired of waking up every morning in the same green forest, so he decides to search for a new place to live. He visits the birds in the trees, a mole underground, a camel in the hot desert sand, puffins in the cold arctic snow . . . only to realize his own home is the perfect place for him after all. Welcome Home, Bear offers rich illustrations, bright colors, and a simple, spare text—all wrapped up in a beautiful, kid-friendly package. Readers meet animals in their habitats around the world—and return with Bear to the one place he is truly happy.

Opening Lines:

Every morning, Bear woke up

in the same green forest

under the same blue sky.

One day he thought,

I will find a new home!

Why I like this book:

This seemingly "simple," 22 page, Board Book contains not only a message of there being "no place like home," but also a science lesson. As Bear goes looking for a new home, he experiences what and where the other animals call home; bird's nest high a tree, mole's stuffy, dirt tunnels, and Polar Bear's icy, cold snow.

Il Sung Na masterfully pulls the reader along with Bear's expressive face and body language. You can't help but feel sorry for Bear - when he surprises his friends, or toasts his toes.

Using bold colors and paper collage, each two-page spread provides a captivating look at each of the other animal's habitats. After Bear discovers his friend's homes are too high, stuffy, steep, deep, cold, hot, rainy, or muddy, he "knew just where he wanted to be." This is a great STEM book for starting conversations about animal habitats, what makes a home, and where a bear really belongs.

Resources:

- pre-reading & activities (http://www.baker-taylor.com/PDFs/KN_IlSungNa_B&T_Activities_x1A.PDF):

- imagine where else might a bear not be comfortable living;

- create an animal and then create where it lives; or

- draw some place you would like to live.

Feel free to add a title or link to your favorite Board Book in the comments.

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