Hi friends! This blog is for teachers and families- all for the sheer joy of literacy. When we are enthusiastic about reading and writing our students and our own kids become excited to read and write. I hope that we all can be models for those in our care- how did you show your passion for reading, writing, learning, language, or words today?? It's in those small, daily moments that we teach kids to love literacy.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Love: Bears on Chairs Learn to Share

I picked this book, Bears on Chairs by Shirley Parenteau, up from the library this week for my 23 month-old. After the 3rd-4th reading she's following the plot, and interacting with the characters, especially Big Brown Bear. When the Big Brown Bear tried to share a chair with a little bear she said, "NO!" Then I asked her if the bears should share their chairs, and she said, "Yes!"  I love that this book shows how these little bears problem-solve in several different ways in order to share their chairs. This books teaches our young ones the value of cooperation and sharing.

Book description from Booklist:
Four round little bears. Four straight-back chairs. That works—until Big Brown Bear enters the scene looking for someplace to sit down. Using plenty of repetition and the simplest of rhyming couplets (“What a stare / from Big Brown Bear. / That big bear / wants a chair!”), the text follows the travails of Brown Bear as he tries to find a place to sit down. Along with the visual treat of watching softly colored bears and chairs on expanses of white pages, this book cleverly melds words and art for several other purposes. New readers will find this an inviting place to start picking out words, while budding logicians can sharpen their skills trying to figure out how five bears can sit in four chairs. The bears do it (after some trial and error), and the happy ending is the perfect finish to a sweet exercise. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Ilene Cooper

My Reading Teacher Perspective:
This book is packed full of goodness for your early readers. Yes it encourages sharing (a very important lesson, indeed!), but it also manages to do these wonderful things:
  • Rhyme builds phonemic awareness (awareness of sound in letters/words). This book is packed to the brim with rhyme: Look!/Calico Bear/shifts his chair/over there/near Big Brown Bear./Big Brown Bear/helps Calico Bear/make one double chair/for three to share. The rhyme in this book is so repetitive and simple that it feels like a chant/song. My daughter laughed when I was reading. I can tell she loved the sounds the words were making.
  • This books builds critical thinking skills! These little bears try several ways to solve a problem. In order to build comprehension later on in life, we have to make sure our wee ones are critical thinkers! Reading=thinking.
  • Repetition builds fluency, builds phonemic awareness, and (in this case) encourages vocabulary development. This book is chock full of repetition!! I can guarantee that your child will know the words chair, bear, share after reading this book!

Be well! Read on!


  1. Oooh I'm adding this to my library hold list! I LOVE how you include the benefits of the book from a reading teacher perspective. I love reading to my children (we are bibliophiles and read alot) but hearing what to look for in stories is so helpful. I'm a new follower! We are always looking for good books to read :)

    Stopping by from We Teach

  2. Hi Rebecca, Google Alerts picked up your review. I loved reading of your daughter's reaction to my Bears on Chairs. I've had such fun with this book and feel so lucky to have David Walker's adorable bears illustrating the story.

    Thanks for the review. Hugs to your little reader!

  3. Amanda, Thanks for following, you're awesome! This is a great book to read- you'll love sharing it with your little one :)

  4. Shirley! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment. I always LOVE hearing from authors. I like your endnote at the back of the book, explaining what sparked the idea for this book. I enjoy sharing that kind of information with my students. It helps them to better understand the writing process and that they, too, can be authors!

    Yes, I love the illstrations as well, especially floppy bear and the bears' expressions. Kudos Mr. Walker!

  5. I would love a copy of your running records grid . Thanks janewl@shaw.ca


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