Sunday, December 27, 2009

Can You Growl Like a Bear by John Butler


John Butler

Can You Growl Like a Bear by John Butler is one of the most heart warming, beautifully illustrated children's books that I have ever seen. I love this book more than I can even share in this blog!

My kindergarten, first grade, and second graders absolutely LOVED this children's book!!!!!! Butler uses lots of soft round colors for the animals. You just want to be there with the animals watching them in their natural habitat! The animals are so beautifully and softly drawn. The edges are round and soft whether it is the bear in the snow, the chimps swinging to and fro, the dolphins swimming through the seas, the honey bee floating on a breeze, the elephant tramping across the plain, the tree frog basking in the rain, the leopard slinking slowly by, the cockatoo soaring in the sky, the wolf keeping watch late at night, the panda snuggling up for the night, and all of the animals gently falling asleep!!!!!!!!

Young children will adore the lovely animals in their natural surroundings. Their stunning portraits are so life-like. Children are invited to mimic the sounds that the young animals make. The book begins with "Listen to the animals. What noises do you hear? Come along and join the fun! Speak up loud and clear."

The young bear rolls on his back with the words "Can you growl like a bear, rolling in the snow" projected above the two pages. You just want to hold the baby bear in your arms and tickle his little stomach until he giggles. I love how each animal's pictures are displayed on two pages. For example, "Can you chatter like a chimp, swinging to and from?" The verb in each sentence is displayed in boldface with a much larger print.

A family of dolphins are covered in the next two pages. They are so realistic. You feel like you are standing in front of a large aquarium at a zoo. One of the smaller dolphins appears to be looking directly at the reader. "Can you click like a dolphin, swimming through the seas?"

The honeybee is about to land on one of the sunflowers in the field to: "Can you buzz like a honebee, floating on a breeze?"

Next there is a herd of elephants with one leading the pack... "Can you trumpet like an elephant, tramping across the plain?" You can hear the elephant and the sound of the trumpet. This is one of my favorite parts of the book!

We next visit a very realistic frog swinging on a branch... The branch is displayed on both pages........... Above appears the words... "Can you croak like a tree frog, basking in the rain?"

My students loved the leopard. He spanned two pages. They told me that they felt he would leap of the page. They crouched down low and sprang as if pouncing on their prey while they made the leopard sounds.... In unison, they all sang, "Can you roar like a leopard, slinking slowly by?" We ended this by lining up and one-by-one slinking slowly by!!!!

We flapped around the class squawking to the words, "Can you squawk like a cockatoo, soaring in the sky?" We all took flight. Flapping our imaginary wings.

We then "howled like a wolf to, "Can you howl like a wolf, keeping watch late at night?" The wolf in the picture looks so warm and fuzzy. You just want to pet his coat. The moon has set right behind him. Butler uses such soft pastels. You feel like you are right there howling along with the wolf.

We turned to our favorite animal and pictures.... "Can you snuffle like a panda, snuggling up for the night?" The panda baby is snuggled nice and closely to his mother or father. Sleeping safely... snuggly in his/her arms. We loved this picture. We could all identify with this baby panda as we have all been snuggled closely in our parents arms... The pandas are so cute as they always are in pictures, on TV, and in person!!!! 

The book ends with a picture of each baby animal sleeping it their natural habitat. We all commented on how all animals sleep differently. Each baby animal is pictured within a round circle with softly rounded pastel colors. The animals are the honey bee, chimp, dolphin, bear, elephant, wolf, leopard, panda, frog and finally the cockatoo! What a way to to end a children's book with such lovely pictures and the sweet words..."Everyone is quiet now. You can't hear a peep. It's time to gently close your eyes and fall fast asleep."

My students were ready to fall asleep after reading this. I am sure that if I had given them cookies and warm milk, they would have been sleeping snuggly in all of our arms....

I have recommended "Can You Growl Like a Bear" to everyone I encounter at my school library, public library, and to friends,parents, students, public library patrons, and many other people who I know love a good children's book!

I will be purchasing this book for my school library and also for my own personal library. I borrowed this from my local public library and must return it soon...

I hope that you will all purchase this book and read it to your students, children, grandchildren, young friends... WHAT A TREAT!!!!!!!!!!!! You'll see!!!!!!!!!!!

This is perfect for a bedtime story also!

Here is the link to John Butler's web site so that you can learn more about his plethora of beautiful books!

Happy reading!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until the next time!

A children's book a day, will keep the scary monster away!

1 comment:

  1. As the writer and illustrator of Can You Growl Like a Bear? I am so pleased to read Ida's comments. Her enthusiasm and love for books, (and children), is so heart-warming. My intention when originating the book was to get the exact responses she portrays, and it gives me great pleasure to know it has elicited the fun and participation she describes. Thank you Ida. John Butler