Friday, February 26, 2010

Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr/Eric Carle

Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? was the very first Eric Carle book my son ever had. Before we even had children, my husband and I had made an agreement that we would never refuse our child a book they wanted, (this decision was made after we heard a child in a book store asking their mother for a book and she replied "No, you don't really want that, but if you stop asking I'll buy you a video game.") and so when Parker reached out for this book one day while we were out shopping I bought it for him happily. 

Baby Bear, Baby Bear is the last in a series of books by Bill Martin Jr and illustrated by Eric Carle. They are all great books, but I particularly loved this one because I call my son my Baby Bear frequently. 

If you have read any of the What Do You See/Hear? books you know what they are about. They are kind of like a giant seek-and-say for young children. You get to see the beautiful illustrations of Eric Carle as you flip from page to page learning not only colors, but about animals that children might not be exposed to on a daily basis. (How many children regularly get to see mountain goats or flying squirrels?) As Baby Bear tells us that he Red Fox, we go on to Red Fox to ask him "Red Fox, Red Fox, What do YOU see?" and he sends us off to the next animal, and so on and so forth until we find Baby Bear's Mama Bear and find out what she sees.

This is yet another book with just enough repetition to  be entertaining and educational to young children without making it annoying and obnoxious for the reader. It won't be long before your child is following along with you as you seek out what each animal is seeing. (Or giving every animal from the Baby Bear to the Blue Heron to the Mommy Bear herself kisses the way that my son does.) 

Of course, if you have Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? I highly recommend that you get the other books in the series: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?, and Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?

If you are interested in more works by Bill Martin Jr, please check out his site here. If you are interested in the illustrations and writing of Eric Carle, please visit his official site here

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bear Snores On by: Karma Wilson

"In a cave in the woods, in his deep, dark lair, through the long, cold winter sleeps a great brown bear."

Of course, if you know me at all, you would know that anything about a bear is going to catch my attention. Sometimes the books I pick up disappoint, but that is certainly not the case with Bear Snores On. I read it first back when I was teaching, and fell in love with it then, so of course I had to have it for my son's library! 

There is a wonderful flow to the creative rhymes as Bear is joined, unknown to him, by several other forest animals seeking shelter from the storm outside. As Mouse is joined by Hare and they are joined by Badger and so on and so forth, a nice little party starts to gather in the bear's little cave..."but the Bear snores on".

The flow of the rhyme and story makes it an enjoyable book to read out loud, plus there is just enough repetition to be beneficial to little listeners (it won't be long before they are joining in on "...the bear snores on!") without driving the reader crazy like some children's books tend to do. There are wonderful opportunities to do voices for the different animals, which my son loves, and we get to make sounds like the animals do. "Chew, Chomp, Crunch!" and his favorite..."ACHOOOOOOOO!!!" when the bear is tickled by a stray fleck of pepper. 

In addition, the illustrations are beautifully done. Jane Chapman's drawings of Bear and his forest friends are warm and eye catching, and her creatures are adorable! You are left just wanting to cuddle Mouse, pat Hare on the head, and give Bear a great big bear hug! I know that many would say that it's the story that matters, but when you are reading to children who can not yet read themselves, I find that the pictures often help them understand and enjoy the story almost as much as the words do. In a day when some children's picture books are starting to look like they were drawn by someone with very little time and very little imagination, it is refreshing to see a book where the illustrator clearly has as much love for the characters as the author does.

My son adores the book, and eagerly helps me turn the pages between giving kisses to Bear and his friends! He will even sit and look through it when we aren't reading together, happily "reading" out loud to himself and pointing at his favorite pictures. At only 10 months old, this is one of his favorite books to read with me, along with the other Bear books. I highly suggest this book, and it's "siblings", also by Karma Wilson.

If you are interested in the other Bear books, or the many others written by Ms. Wilson, please visit her page: If you would like to see more art and books illustrated by Jane Chapman, please visit:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bear Of My Heart (Holiday Special)

BEAR OF MY HEART by Joanne Ryder
In honor of the holiday, I wanted to share the book that I bought to give my son on our first Valentine's Day together. Bear of My Heart caught my eye in the store because I frequently call my son my "Baby Bear". I have always had a love for bears, and it has passed over into my adulthood, and thus transferred into my relationship with my baby boy. 

As it turns out, the book was amazingly appropriate to describe my feelings for my little miracle, and I think that many mommies (and daddies) would probably share my opinion. 

"There are so many bears in the world, dear, but there's no other one that will do. You are the bear of my heart, dear, and I am the one who loves you." starts off a wonderful little story about a baby bear and their parent and the love that is shared between them. 

Mama or Papa (they are never specific as to which) Bear speaks of the promise of the future they have together, showing their baby bear the world and all the things they will teach them and take them to see. 

Then come the promises that every parent makes in their heart on the day of their child's birth...the promises to be there whenever their Baby Bear needs them. The promises to give hugs and kisses, to guide and protect, to be there every time they are needed, because "You are the bear of my heart, dear, and nothing can take that away."

I was in love with this little book and its message long before I got to the last lines. It is now safely tucked away for his first Valentine's Day tomorrow with a little message from Mommy written in the front. I hope one day, years from now, he will be looking through old boxes and packages and come across this book. Maybe he'll decide to read it to his own son or daughter, smiling fondly over the thought of his Mother picking this out so many years ago. And hopefully, holding his own precious little miracle in his arms, he will understand the full extent of the message passed on in these pink, gilded pages. 

"No matter how big you may grow, dear, or whether we're near or apart, I will love you forever and ever, for YOU are the bear of my heart." 

 If you are interested in Joanne Ryder or her books, please visit

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Love You Forever by: Robert Munsch

Love You Forever was a book in my brother's library when we were children. I remembered it from then, but not well, and hadn't picked it up in well over 18 years. Then, a few weeks after the birth of my own son, a battered copy caught my eye in a second hand shop and I picked it up, remembering the book from my brother's shelf.

I didn't know that people will look at you oddly if you start sobbing for no apparent reason in the middle of an isle in a second hand shop. They do. I also didn't know that I wouldn't care, but would instead start kissing my new, sleeping baby boy on his little cheeks and thanking God for the little blessing I had in my cart.

Love You Forever will bring more tears if you look into where it originated. It started as a song that a man made up after he and his wife lost two babies at birth.

I'll love you forever.
I'll like you for always.
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be.
From that song was born a book that will be adored and treasured by any parent who has ever suffered a loss, but also by any parent, any grandparent, any great-grandparent...Anyone who has ever loved a child can understand and appreciate the simple song that still brings a tear to my eye every time I read it to my son.

Love you Forever follows a mother and her son on their journey. From the new bundle of joy she rocks in her arms, to the rough and tumble boy tracking mud through the house, to the teenager that she doesn't quite understand...Still the words of her simple lullaby ring true. She will love him forever and like him for always and for all of her life he will be her baby. 

As the boy grows, we get to see how his mother's love has effected and influenced him as he starts his own life and family. 

I have read this book to my son since that day I found it again in that second hand shop. From that time to this, every time I get to the part where I sing:
"I'll love you forever.
I'll like you for always." 
his little face lights up in the most beautiful smile! It is a book I recommend to every mother I talk to now, knowing how dear it is to my heart and how much joy I get sharing it with my son. Even on the nights we don't read the book, I always sing the song to him as I am putting him to sleep. Love You Forever is a staple in my home now. I hope it can be in yours as well.

If you are interested in more information about Love You Forever or its author, Robert Munsch and his other books, please visit his official site at

Thank you for reading.

Suggest a Book

Do you have a book you want to share with others? If so, please leave me a comment here. I will be sure to share your favorites with my readers!

Thanks for sharing!

Latest News

Here is where you can come to find out the latest news and updates about the Nook. Right now, the site is under construction. Please come back soon to see our progress. I am hoping to be up and running by next week.

Thanks for reading!

About The Nook

Mama Bear's Book Nook is written in the hope that I can share  new books with parents and teachers like myself who are always on the lookout for a new, great book to bring into their homes and classrooms. 

I plan on spotlighting at least one new book a week, and blogging not only about the book, but about ways that the book can be used as a stepping stone into learning. It is my belief that every book can be stretched into a lesson plan, and lesson plans aren't something that are only used in the classroom. Art projects, cooking projects, math lessons...these are all things that can be done in the home as well.

Of course, I am the mother of a young child, so there will be some weeks that there is not as much written as others. There will probably even be weeks where there is no new Book in the Nook. For that I will apologize in advance, but anyone who has been the parent of a rapidly mobile child should understand. (Or the wife of a husband for that matter!)

If there are any books you would like to share or see reviewed, please let me know in my comments. I am always looking for something new to add to our family library!

Thank you for reading!

About The Author

I want to start by saying that I am in no way affiliated with any publishing company or professional reviewer. I am simply the mother of a child who loves books and being read to who also loves to read myself. I have found that I generally have an opinion (about  almost everything.) and I figure I might as well share it with others.

I am the mother of an amazing little boy who was born in April 2009. We have always read to him. I know many babies will not sit still for books, but we were blessed with a child who seems to share his parents love for them. Now he helps us turn pages and even "reads" back to us. 

I received my degree in Early Childhood Education in 2005. I loved teaching my kids, and feel that books are an important part of any child's education. There is so much that can be taught to a child through books, and they don't even know they are learning. Styling a lesson plan around a well written children's book can be so easy and so much fun! My favorite week was always Dr. Seuss week! I could probably write a few BOOKS on Dr. Seuss lesson plans instead of a little blog!

I am blessed to be the wife of a wonderful husband! He supports me in everything I do, and I am shown every day how blessed I am. He serves his country in the United States Air Force, and I am so proud and honored to be married to my Hero.

I want to become a published author one day. I have written several children's books and am working on a novel, but getting a finished product published is not one of the easiest things I have ever done. I am hoping though, one day. One day soon if I have my way, since my beautiful son inspires me every day to write something new. :0) I have a big long list of "Books To Write" that I have been working on since I was a young teen, and the list has more than doubled since I had my son! So...if anyone knows a good, cheap way to be published...I'm all ears!

I hope you enjoy my blog. If you have a book that is your child's favorite or that you would like me to review, please let me know in my comments. I hope that I can bring some new favorites into your families library or your classroom!

Thanks for reading!


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