Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, Jane Chapman

Perfect Picture Book Friday: Bear Snores On

You know what we like around our house? BEARS! We like stuffed bears and real bears at the zoo and bears on our pajamas and bears in the bathtub and Italian Bear nella Grande Casa Blu who sniffs us through the TV. We like playing with bear puzzles and hugging giant bears in the toy store and sleeping like bears on cold winter mornings and growling like bears even if we’re looking at ducks.

We are not afraid of bears. In fact, if we saw a bear on the street, we’d invite it in for tea and honey-nuts, without a doubt. And then we’d call Karma Wilson and invite her over for tea and honey-nuts, too, just to thank her for writing such a wondrous tale.

All you experienced moms and dads and teachers and librarians already know about Karma’s Bear books, but for this pretty-new mom and lifetime rhymer, seeing Bear Snores On for the first time a month ago was a revelation. (And I got the board book version, which comes with a snore button — score!) As soon as I read the first few words, I knew I was in love. In fact, since my little guys still don’t fully appreciate the writers’ craft (what’s wrong with them — they’re almost two!), I surreptitiously “ungave” the book to them and brought it back to my desk so I can make googly eyes at it.

I hope you enjoy this addition to the Perfect Picture Book Friday collection. I’m so pleased to bring Karma into the fold!

The Goods

Bear Snores On

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, Jane Chapman
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, Jane Chapman

Written by: Karma Wilson
Illustrated by:  Jane Chapman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (January 2002)
Genre: Picture Book/Fiction
Ages: 2+
Themes/Topics: Animals, Hibernation, Bear Habitat, Seasons, Friendship, Sharing

Opening and Brief Synopsis:

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

Cuddled in a heap, with his eyes shut tight,
he sleeps through the day, he sleeps through the night.

The cold winds howl and the night sounds growl.
But the bear snores on.

The storm may be raging, but Bear is snug in his lair, fast asleep and all alone…that is, until a chilly little mouse pops in to warm his tootsies. But Mouse isn’t the only one looking for shelter, and he’s soon joined by Hare, Badger, Raven and a bunch of other freezing friends attracted by the cozy fire and the promise of honey-nuts, tea, and camaraderie. A good time is had by all until…Bear wakes up!

Bear Snores On is the first in the Bear book series, which to date also includes Bear Wants More, Bear Stays Up, Bear’s New Friend, Bear Feels Sick, Bear Feels Scared, and Bear’s Loose Tooth.

Links to Resources:

  • Karma offers some Bear goodies on her website, including instructions for a bear mask and puppet, a connect-the-dots coloring page, and a seasons activity.
  • ReadWriteThink provides an excellent and comprehensive K-2 unit plan that teaches the difference between fiction and non-fiction using a variety of bear-themed literature and activities.

Why I Like This Book:  Say this out loud:

An itty-bitty mouse, pitter-pat, tip-toe,
creep-crawls in the cave from the fluff-cold snow.

That’s why I love this book! As a writer of verse, I get a little nutty when I come across such perfect meter and rhyme, and this particular passage makes my heart pitter-pat every time I read it. Then there’s the inventive use of word pairings and the delightful story itself. Many of my favorite PBs are my favorites because of the illustration first and the text second, but this is one of the exceptions. While Jane Chapman’s warm and fuzzy work perfectly captures the mood and the silliness, Karma’s text is the star for me, a story to be read aloud absolutely.

Video Adaptation:
Here’s a snippet of the adaptation offered by Scholastic.

Perfect Picture Book Fridays is a shared weekly event started by children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill. You can find the entire list of recommended picture books on the Perfect Picture Books page on her blog.