Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sweet Simplicity

Bears on Chairs
by Shirley Parenteau, illustrated by David Walker
Candlewick Press

Nothing can beat this story for it's simple, loveable charm.  Four bears; blue Calico Bear, pink and prim Fuzzy Bear, cheerful Yellow Bear and loose-limbed Floppy Bear each settle down on their own little chairs.  "Four happy bears / on four small chairs. / Not a bear / has to share."  Oops!  When Big Brown Bear arrives, it appears he's out of luck.  In a wonderful double-page spread, Big Brown Bear woefully looks out to the viewer. "What a stare / from Big Brown Bear. / That big bear / wants a chair!"  After much experimentation, the bears are able to jointly arrive at a solution... pushing all the chairs together to form a makeshift bench.  Snuggled up on the bench, they declare "Now it's fair! / The bears all share!"

Plenty of white-space and pastel colors, along with a unique personality to each of these adorable bears and the gentle repeating rhyme gives this book an easy, very readable appeal.  The values of sharing, inclusion and problem-solving readily come across without being didactic for an instant.  A great book for sharing with toddlers, I highly recommend this little gem.

I borrowed this book from the library.


  1. I'll second your praise for Bears on Chairs! I loved it and can't wait to use it for story time

  2. Yes! My only fear is that it will go out of print too quickly. I'm buying up extra copies for my nieces and nephews now, before that happens!



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