Tips to share: The Very Cranky Bear
Oh dear – there’s nothing worse than feeling cranky and that’s what has happened to poor old Bear. What’s made him so cranky?
This is a great question to start this book with – your little one will have lots of great ideas. Ask your child what kinds of things make them feel cranky? Tell them some of the things that make you feel cranky. If you’re reading to your baby or toddler who may not be able to answer these questions, being able to name the bear, making its noise or making different faces (cranky, happy, sad) is a great start.
There’s heaps of fun alliteration and rhyme in the Jingle Jangle Jungle, where this story takes place. Take the time to have fun with all those ‘J’ sounds and even come up with more of your own. What about jumping, jolly, jelly and jiggle? Maybe your child’s name starts with the letter J, or the street you live in? Point to the letter J each time you read Jingle, Jangle, Jungle – you could say “there’s that sound again, j, j, j”. Our preschoolers love finding letters and words when out and about. How many can you find at your local shops?
Make your roar louder and louder each time you see these words on the page and point out how the writing is getting bigger and bigger too – that’s the author telling us to get louder! Later on in the book, there is an even bigger ROOOAAAARRRR! I wonder how loud we have to read that?
We find out that all Bear really wants is a bit of peace and quiet so he can have a sleep. Ask your little one to guess what Sheep might be doing to help Bear. Do the pictures of him cutting off his wool and stuffing it in a bag give you any clues? Young children need time to think about their answers, so pause to let them ponder.
On the last page, we see all the animals playing together and Bear sound asleep. Does he still look cranky? How do you think he’s feeling now?
You can also use books for ideas to create games or songs. Why not make up your own song? The First 5 Forever team have had a go – you can change the words (cuddly bear, scary bear, little bear, Ryan’s bear…) or make up your own. Share your ideas with other families.
Big Bear, Big Bear turn around,
Big Bear, Big Bear give a frown.
Big Bear, Big Bear why are you mad?
Big Bear, Big Bear let’s be glad/smile at Dad etc
Next time you’re at your local library or looking for interesting things online, you could find out more about why bears hibernate. Where do they go to hibernate? How long do they hibernate for? What does hibernate even mean?
And, of course, your local library have a range of books on bears, both fiction and non-fiction, in case you’re keen to theming your storytimes.