Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stay Awake, Bear! by Gavin Bishop

Title: Stay Awake, Bear!
Author: Gavin Bishop
Copyright: 2000, Orchard Books, New York.
Grade Level: 2-5
Genre: Fiction

Summary: This is a children's book about a bear who does not want to go to sleep during the winter because he thinks that sleeping is a waste of time. As he watches his neighbors getting ready for winter and putting things away for the months ahead, the bear tried to keep busy by singing at the top of his voice and playing songs on his banjo. One day, another bear, who feels the same about winter decides to knock on his door and keep him company for the rest of the winter. They stayed awake the whole winter and when summer came, they dozed off and slept through all the fun activities they had planned for the summer. When they woke up, they realized they have slept through summer, and it was winter again. From that day on, the two bears decided never to sleep during the winter again.

Pre-reading Activity:
Talk about hibernation and about the animals that sleep during the winter. Explain to the children why this happens and what some animals have to do to prepare for the winter.

Post-reading Activity:
Ask the children what they learned from the story. Ask them what they would have done if they were the bear in the story. Also, ask the children if they think it was a good idea that the two bears stayed up all winter long. Talk about the seasons and what they might see/experience during those seasons.

I enjoyed reading this book very much. It was very sweet, and it was interesting. I think the bear in this story is such a trooper, because even though he yawns when the first snowflake falls, he still stays awake for the whole winter. It's a fun children's book, and it's not something you would expect from a bear. I read this children's book to the preschoolers I work with and they loved it. They kept asking questions and they seemed very engaged from beginning to the end of the book. I think this book is awesome for the younger children and adults as well. It's a great story to share inside a classroom or even at home.

About the author:
Gavin Bishop was born in Invercargillo, New Zealand. In the early 1950's his family did not have electricity, a telephone or a car, and when he joined a public library at an early age, he discovered the joy of books. He taught art at secondary level for thirty years. He enjoys reading, eating, watching movies and gardening with his wife in their the same house that they've lived in since 1969. Hi wife, Vivien and him have three daughters by the names of Cressida, Alexandra, and Charlotte.

"Books, stories and pictures have provided a life-long fascination for me. Children's picture books in particular, with their intertwined rhythms of pictures and words combining to tell a story in an often deceptively simple way, have always interested me."

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