Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 37: The Little Mouse, the Red, Ripe Strawberry, and the Big, Hungry Bear

When I first set out on my mission to discover lots of great new books, I posted a status on facebook that asked my friends which children's book was their favorite.  A friend from high school, Brita Mess Nordin, suggested the Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear.  At first, I thought these were three separate titles, but I eventually figured out that its just one book with a rather long name (which made it much easier to find at the library.)  On the very first page, we meet the charming little mouse, who is just leaving his house with a long ladder in tow to pick a delectable strawberry.  He is obviously quite proud of and excited about his prize, until he hears about the big, hungry Bear.  "The big, hungry Bear can smell a red, ripe strawberry a mile away... Especially one that has just been picked."  The poor little mouse starts to fret about the safety of his delicious berry, until the cunning narrator offers the perfect solution.  The text is brief, overall -- some pages have as few as four words -- so the majority of the story is really told in Donald Wood's wonderful illustrations. To me, it is the pictures alone that make this book great and worthy of our list.  Wood captures the little mouse's emotions perfectly, from the pride our furry friend shows at going to pick his strawberry to the panic he feels when he realizes he won't be able to bury and hide it.  I heard my son reciting parts of this story to himself the other day as he was playing; a sure sign that there is something about this book that little ones just love.  So what is the only way in the whole wide world to save a red, ripe strawberry from a big, hungry Bear?  You'll have to read this book to find out. 

P.S.  We have a library copy, but I have heard that the board book version is slightly abridged.  I don't know if this is true since I have not compared the two side by side, but thought I would pass the message along anyway.  Enjoy!


b said...

The board book version isn't textually abridged but just because of size, the illustrations are, which as you mentioned are as much if not more of the story than the words on some pages.

Don and Audrey Wood made beautiful books. The Napping House, King Bidgood's in the Bathtub (try to find a library copy with a CD)and Piggies are some of my little guys favorites...

Lauren said...

Thanks very much for letting us know about the board book edition. The Napping House is another favorite of ours, too!

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