Storybook Summer post by Trisha of Inspiration Laboratories

My son loves any of the Bear books by Karma Wilson. I think his favorite has to be Bear Wants MoreHe walks around quoting that one more than any of the others.

All of the Bear books are written in a memorable rhythmic style and tell of the adventures of Bear and his friends. The sing-song pattern and repeating lines make it easy for children to finish the refrain. In this case, the refrain is, “But the bear wants more!” Bear has just woken up from his winter’s nap and he is very hungry. He eats and eats, but can’t seem to fill his tummy. His friends throw him a party complete with flower decorations and honey cakes. We decided to have our own little party.

Flower Chains

We had flowers in our yard that look like the flowers in the book.

Aiden wanted me to make flower chains just like the animals did in the book. I attempted to tie the flowers together. This did not work. The stems were just not strong enough. No problem. I had another solution. I grabbed a needle and some green thread. I simply threaded the need through the base of the flowers to make my flower chain. This worked really well. The flowers stayed together.

We could wear them on our heads as crowns, wear them around our necks as necklaces, or hang them around the room as decorations.

On a visit to a friends house, we noticed a different kind of flower. I was able to tie the clover flowers together, and they held up just fine.

Whether you choose to tie the flower stems together or use a needle and thread to string the flowers together, making flower chains will help transport you into Bear’s story.

Honey Cakes

To connect to the story even more, try making some honey cakes. The honey cakes in the book really look like chocolate chip cookies to me. We made chocolate chip cookies, spread out a blanket on the floor, and hung up our flower decorations. What a fun little party!

An Interactive Reading Strategy

At the age of two and a half, my son enjoys reading the same books over and over again. We check out new books from the library about every three weeks. We read through all of the books in the first couple days. Then, we allow Aiden to choose which books he wants to read. He typically will choose the same two or three books several days in a row. This is one of the reasons I think it is important to get books that we, the parents, can read again and again without going crazy. Some books are just great reads no matter how many times in a row you read them. Those are the books you want to gravitate towards. Bear Wants More is an example of a book I can read again and again.

A benefit of reading the same books again and again is that my son can eventually “read” the story to me. For shorter books {one line on a page}, he can recite the lines based on the pictures he sees. For longer books {a paragraph to a page} like Bear Wants More, I will read a few lines, and then I pause. This allows Aiden the opportunity to finish the paragraph. Here’s an example of our interactive reading.

I read:
The noon sun glows,
when along hopes Hare.
“Good day, friend Mouse!”

Aiden finishes:
“How do, friend Bear?”

Sometimes I’ll read all but the last word, and Aiden will complete the line.

I read:
Bear rubs at his tummy.
He smells something

Aiden says:
YUMMY…

I read:
and he still

Aiden says:
wants more!

There are some days that Aiden chooses not to finish the lines. If after a pause in the reading he is silent, I just finish the line and keep reading.

I recommend trying this interactive reading strategy with Bear Wants More or one of your favorite books.

Trisha is a stay at home mom to her 2-year old son, Aiden. She writes about their adventures at Inspiration Laboratories, a blog dedicated to encouraging learning through creativity and play. Trisha is an educator with a passion for science literacy, so you can expect to find lots of science and nature ideas for little ones. Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.