December books

Jeanne Loves Books – December


A Bear’s Year by Kathy Duval and Gerry Turley is a book about seasons and about a mother teaching her young about their world. It is also a book about hibernation without ever mentioning the word.

It is not a holiday book, but it is a wonderful seasonal book. It starts with winter, and we see the big mother bear asleep in her den with a window out to a world where snow is falling.

The text is large, spare and almost lyrical in its rhyme. The first page of the story begins,

Winter Bear 

drifts into sleep,

Earth’s snowflake blanket

soft and deep.

The illustrations are lovely and perfectly compliment the warmth of the story. They are large, but not busy. They also reflect the text. So when a “wolf wails a lullaby,” we can find a howling wolf in the illustration. This is so helpful when engaging a child in a story because you can then look together to find the wolf, talk about it and the child will have a wonderful image of a “howling wolf.” There is another wonderful illustration of a night sky with Northern Lights to illustrate “Northern Lights paint the sky.”

There is some very rich language in this book with limited text. In addition to Northern Lights, look for wail, cozy, lair, grubs, swarm, den, doze, scarce, and nestled. For nestled and cuddled, a demonstration is always wonderful!

Fun with Reading

  • Be sure to highlight and talk about words that are new for your child. Most children learn a significant part of their vocabulary from books.
  • Talk about what season we are having here in Minnesota.  How is our winter the same or different from what we see in the book?
  • Have your child nestle in close to you when reading and give a cuddle each time you reread the story.

Author: JeanneLovesBooks

Jeanne is a retired youth services librarian and the former Supervisor of Hennepin County’s Readmobile Program. The Readmobile, which is also retired, was like a Bookmobile, but dedicated to young children, which developed and provided early literacy enriched visits to Head Start Programs, Early Childhood Learning Centers, Child Care Providers and Family, Friend and Neighbor Providers. Jeanne shares literacy info about books for infants through preschoolers in her “Jeanne Loves Books” column once a month. She welcomes your feedback and suggestions for books to highlight.

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