Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Very Hungry Bear by Nick Bland

The Very Hungry Bear by Nick Bland definitely qualifies for Day 3 of the Book-a-Day challenge: A book you love to read aloud.

This is a terrific new instalment in Bland's books about Bear. He's been cranky, itchy and now he's hungry! I will look at the other titles later, but I think The Very Hungry Bear is my favourite so far.

Bear is not impressed when he reels in a polar bear while fishing for his breakfast - especially when the polar bear is eating all his fish! The polar bear's iceberg is shrinking and he cleverly persuades (bribes!) Bear to help find the polar bear a new home.

The reason I love to read this book aloud is the wonderful rhyming throughout it. There is a real rhythm to Bland's storytelling, and it really does make this book a pleasure to read aloud - Maximilian is always totally transfixed by it.

"Now a fish to a bear 
is like a chocolate eclair, 
it's INCREDIBLY hard to resist

So the thought of a pile
that would last for a while
was an offer too good to be missed!"

Lines like these simply roll off the tongue. The illustrations throughout the book are also extremely engaging: bright and colourful with expressively drawn characters. Bland uses decorative font and bold text to great advantage, and I found this really helpful with reading the text out loud - the bold text helps the reader to emphasise the syllables well for great effect when reading out loud (I'm not sure if Bland intended this, but is very clever and effective!) I think this would be really helpful for parents not used to reading books out loud.

Another wonderful book by an Australian picture book author - Nick Bland will definitely feature in other posts as we have many of his other titles too. He is a favourite in our house and definitely a name to remember.

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