Christopher Bear is grumpy because he thinks everyone has forgotten his birthday. Little does he know that his sister is planning a surprise birthday party for him.
I love it when a book can go past being 'just a book' and into so many other levels of a child's imagination such as role playing and baking, and this is exactly what happened when I shared this story with Miss 3 and my lovely daycare children. It went from being a lovely story to read and enjoy to giving hours of entertainment in other areas such as role playing, Miss 3 (who may be a little birthday party obsessed at the best of times) has been setting up parties daily for her soft toys to enjoy as they celebrate Christopher Bear's birthday, complete with cups, plates and playdough birthday cakes. My daycare children I have also noticed in the sandpit making cakes for Christopher Bear and then all gathering around to sing "Happy Birthday". When children are able to extend their play from a book It shows you that it is a perfect book indeed!
The illustrations in the book are just adorable featuring beautiful pastel colours, and the most happy, friendly animals. The pictures are quite well done reflecting on all the feelings that are expressed in the book for example how Christopher Bear felt sad thinking everyone had forgotten about his birthday, to when he felt excited to see his friends had all remembered. The other animals also showed great happiness knowing they were invited to his party. Feelings can often be a hard thing to talk about with young children, and myself and my colleagues agreed this book did a great job at expressing these in a way the children could understand.
The storyline was very easy to follow, and I felt it was suitable for it's intended audience, it was short enough that even the 18 month olds I care for could sit through the whole story. The words used were very easily understood for young children, and it was great that Miss 3 understood them all without having to ask me what the words meant every time I turned a page! I have even heard her sitting with her toys retelling the story which shows just how easily understood this book is by young children.
This is a beautiful book for children, which I can see becoming well loved! The only flaw I have with it is in regards to it's spine, which seems to have some type of taping down it, and although this does look appealing I feel it would be better without it as Miss 3 has already started trying to peel this off, sometimes tape and such is jsut way to hard to ignore when your a young child! Other than this a great book which I am sure many children will love to listen to time and time again! Being quite a lot cheaper than many books, it is well worth considering purchasing.
I was lucky enough to get to review this great book. I have a 3.5 year old who is absolutely book mad! She was very excited to see this book arrive with our review package. The first thing she spotted was the ducks on the front and quickly worked out (due to the pictures) that this book was about a birthday party. This is one thing I really love about the book, the pictures relate to the story line which makes it, in my opinion, easier for younger children to understand what is going on in the book.
I love the fact that this book talks about emotions, from Christopher Bear who is sad that nobody remembered his birthday to the happy faces on the animals that were invited. I found it good being able to speak to my daughter about the expressions on the animals faces which then turned into discussions about how we thought the animals were feeling. This book has a great story line but it also covers off emotions and thinking about how other people can feel in different situations. Which is something great to be able to talk to your children about as it is something they can relate to.
I really like the brightness of the pictures on each page they really stand out and are nice and clear. In terms of page thickness I was surprised to feel and see that they pages aren't your every day thin pages in a book. They are a nice thickness which are perfect for younger children who love turning the page as it means they aren't as easily ripped. I really enjoyed this book and so did my daughter. I am interested to see if there are any more stories in this range as would love to buy some more of them.
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"Computer games don't affect kids. I mean if Pac-Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching magic pills and listening to repetitive electronic music."
Kristian Wilson, Nintendo, Inc, 1989