LONGLISTED FOR THE NORTH SOMERSET TEACHERS' BOOK AWARD READ ALOUD CATEGORY
Bear is awoken early from her hibernation and decides that if she can't sleep, she'll make her first-ever snowman. Rabbit has never made a snowman either - and is determined to make one better than Bear's. However, when faced with a hungry fox, Rabbit learns that a friend in need is a friend indeed!
This is an great little book that is quite different, making it an excellent read aloud for children of any age. Humorous and informative, as well as learning about gravity and the workings of a rabbit's digestive system (yes, there are a lot of discussions about poo!), the reader watches as these two very different characters develop a firm friendship as they come to understand and value each other.
Bear is a wonderfully 'glass-half-full' personality. Someone has woken her up and stolen her food- well, it's a beautiful day and she's always wanted to build a snowman! Rabbit, on the other hand, is half-empty- a fairly joyless soul, who hates being a rabbit, thinks life is pretty awful - and is the one who stole Bear's food. The clever character development can be used to give children ideas about how to create their own as, although an excellent read aloud, there is so much more that this book could be used for!
Observation is a key part of scientific enquiry and should there be a school rabbit, then first hand observation of rabbit's bad habits might be possible! Instructional guides on how to look after pet rabbits could be created, illustrated with photographs, annotated drawings etc.
The illustrations are absolutely wonderful, capturing the creatures' personalities perfectly and using a very simple range of colours. Several spreads could be used to encourage the children to make predicitions, gather vocabulary and develop ideas about character. The children could also make simple origami rabbits and bears and then use these as puppets to re-tell the story or to use as the basis for annimations of their own stories based on the original. On Jim Field's website, children can read about how he developed his ideas for illustrating the book and perhaps be inspired to develop their own. http://www.jimfield.co.uk/Rabbit-Bear
The book is also just the right size for little hands. Perfect for both emergent and more confident readers, this is one of those special books that offers so much: humour, good writing, fabulous illustrations and two wonderful, mismatched friends that I hope are going to be at the heart of many tales to come.
Rabbit and Bear: Rabbit's Bad Habits by Julian Gough, illustrated by Jim Field
Hodder Children's Books ISBN: 978-1444929317