"Golden Bear"

Golden Bear (Picture Puffins)


Book: Golden Bear

Author: Ruth Young 

Illustrator: Rachel Isadora

Publisher: Puffin, republished in 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0140509595

ISBN-10: 0140509593

Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)

Reading level: Ages 2-6

Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

For more information e-mail homeschoolbookreview@gmail.com

     Young, RuthGolden Bear (published in 1992 by Viking Kestrel Picture Books).   This Picture Puffin book depicts the friendship between a two year old African American child and a cuddly, old-fashioned teddy bear with rotating legs, positively aglow with the pretty yellow-brown tones of its fur, using lilting, rhymed couplets and colored, full-page paintings.  The text is just enough to hold a toddler’s short attention span, and the beautiful, warm illustrations make for lots of conversation.  The two play together during various seasons, building a snowman, spotting tulips in the grass, pretending they’re “pirates in the tub,” and finally snuggling together at bedtime. 

     The child registers a variety of emotions as he and his bear move through the day with each other.  The fact that Golden Bear is nearly the child’s size indicates the enormous importance that this constant companion has in the boy’s eye-view.  However, on the final page, when the two are asleep together in a snug bed, the bears return to its real stature as a small stuffed animal.  Children will love to hear this story before going to sleep because it will calm and quiet them. It may be one that will be read repeatedly until the whole family knows it by heart, including unusual words for little ones, like “perfect” and “violin.”

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