Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies by Carmen Oliver

81hx5wesoflI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My daughters love reading as much as I do. We have seven bookshelves in our house, and there are still books on the floor! I constantly have to remind them to not leave books in their beds. I could go on, but that would turn this into a blog post rather than a review.

I received an opportunity to read Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies. This is the debut work of author Carmen Oliver. I was very excited about sharing the book with my daughters. They are in first grade and third grade, and their language arts curriculum includes something called “Daily 5”. Each day, the children choose two or three different activities to enhance their reading and writing. One of these activities is “Read to Someone”. This consists of picking a partner, sitting elbow to elbow and knee to knee, and reading together.

In Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies, a little girl named Adelaide informs her teacher that she does not need to be assigned a reading buddy because she has brought one of her own. Everyone is scared when she brings a bear into the classroom, but Adelaide explains why a bear is a good reading buddy.   Bears are good listeners, they like a variety of different kinds of books, and they are very encouraging. But what will the teacher think about all of this?

The illustrations- done by Jean Claude- are adorable. The bear in question is a gentle-looking fellow. He has an eager smile, and he is wearing an aqua colored Fair Isle sweater. My girls especially enjoyed the part where the bear was wearing the different hats.

I would absolutely recommend Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies. I am looking forward to buying copies for my daughters’ teachers. This is a wonderful testament to the importance of reading with a friend. We might not be able to provide ursine friends to read with, but a classmate should be just as nice to read with. My girls absolutely loved this book; they thought the part where the bear fixes the ripped page with honey was very funny, although we agreed that probably wouldn’t work in real life. This is a versatile picture book that will appeal to preschoolers, who will appreciate the lovely illustrations and the gentle plot. This will also appeal to children in elementary school who can relate to reading with a buddy and working on their fluency and comprehension.

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