Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies by Carmen Oliver is a book about a girl and her unusual friend that helps her to enjoy her reading time. The pictures depict this reading buddy as a bear, and Adelaide describes how her bear is such a good buddy. Yet the book as a whole seems to be about much more. It’s about how to find a comfortable way to sit and read. It’s about how to get the most out of reading time. And although it seems to be a story about a girl and a bear, it is really a great introduction for kids in how a “buddy” can help you enjoy reading practice.
Here are some of the things that Adelaide’s bear teaches us about reading time. First, he helps her find a good book to read (“sniffs” it out with his nose). Then he helps her find a quiet and comfortable place to read together. In the illustration, we see they are hiding in a delightful blanket fort. They make sure both can see the book, and the bear wraps her in a “warm bear hug” if she gets frustrated sounding out words. Her bear cheers her on with a big ROAR (and won’t let her run away from hard words).
Kids won’t realize that it’s a lesson in how to be a good reading buddy, however. The illustrations provide plenty of humor. The bear’s claws rip the page, but he fixes it with honey. The bear is too big for the room, and of course the teacher and other students are afraid of him. The bear is cuddly and helpful, and that is the friendly side of the book kids will see at first glance.
It’s just a bonus that Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies also teaches students how they too can be a good reading buddy!
Note: I received a digital copy of Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies for review consideration.