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!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 127: Bear On a Bike

Books are some of my favorite things to give and receive as gifts.  With both Christmas and my son's birthday coming up, I have been trying to put together a list of gift ideas for him and my daughter.  We are fortunate to have many family members who love giving our children gifts, and this year, as in the past, I am putting many books at the top of that list.  I, of course, always like to get them each a few books, too.  One story that I am excited to give them this Christmas is Bear On a Bike by Stella Blackstone.  There are several books in the Bear series, but this one is our favorite.  In fact, when we were reading it today, my son said, "I want to jump in that book!"  Can't ask for a better endorsement than that!  My children just love following Bear as he travels around on various vehicles -- a bike, raft, steam train, boat, carriage, and rocket ship -- to different magical places.  For a book so simple, it is wonderfully descriptive, and the repetition and rhyming prose make it a wonderful read aloud for even the youngest readers.  "Bear on a bike, as happy as can be.  Where are you going, Bear?  Please wait for me!  I'm going to the market, where fruit and flowers are sold.  Where people buy fresh oranges and pots of marigold."  Then there is my favorite (the page my son wanted to jump into):  "I'm going to an island, where magic star fruits grow.  Where herons fish in secret groves and sparkling rivers flow."  Making the book even more engaging and fun to read are Debbie Harter's illustrations.  Bright, bold colors jump out of the page, instantly capturing kids' attention, and I love the way she incorporates black and white stripes and shapes into her pictures, as well.  Between Harter's striking illustrations and Blackstone's repetitive verse, this is one of those rare books that is equally appealing to babies and preschoolers.  I just love watching my son and daughter read it together!   Many of the Bear books are also available in foreign language versions, with the English words on one side of the page and French or Spanish on the other.  Bear books make great baby gifts and are fabulous additions to any child's library.  I can't wait to add them to ours!


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