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Bear's New Friend



Last updated Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Author: Karma Wilson
Illustrator: Jane Chapman
Date of Publication: 2006
ISBN: 0689859848
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Feb. 2007

Synopsis: (From School Library Journal) A mystery character is introduced in this fourth book about Bear and his friends. One summer morning, the cub heads out to play. He hears someone in the tree and thinks it might be his friend Mouse. But Mouse arrives and eliminates that possibility. So begins the guessing game that makes up the rhyming text as, page by page, the various woodland animals come on the scene narrowing the choices of the creature's identity. The refrain And the Bear asks, 'Who?' gives readers a heavy-handed clue, but not until the end does this shy newcomer make his appearance. Chapman's acrylic illustrations are as soft and cuddly as ever and the familiar rhythm works well for reading aloud. While this isn't the strongest of the titles, Bear's many fans won't want to miss it.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Look at the cover of the story. Which animals are friends with bear?
•  Have you ever made a new friend? How did you feel before you met your friend?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Why do you think the friend is hiding from bear and the rest of his friends?
•  Have you ever seen animals like a mouse, a hare, a gopher, a mole or a badger? What kind of environment do these animals like to live in? How is that environment different from our environment in Los Angeles?
•  Bear’s new friend says he is shy. What does it mean to be shy? Are you ever shy? Does it help you feel better If you have friends around when you are shy?
•  Have you noticed someone sitting alone at recess or lunch? Have you tried to talk or play with that person?
•  How do you make new friends?
•  What do you and your friends like to do?
•  How are your friends different?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a mask of Bear and/or his friends using construction paper.
•  Make a “friendship” flag like mole is holding. Take a white piece of paper and fold the short side over ½ inch. Draw a picture of you and all your friends on the flag. Leave room for a new friend! Take construction paper and fold over and over to make a stiff pole. Attach the pole to the friendship flag w/tape, glue or staples.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!