Thursday, January 24, 2008

Orange Pear Apple Bear

Gravett, Emily. 2007. ORANGE PEAR APPLE BEAR. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 139781416939993 [Suggested Grade Levels Pre-K-2]

Gravett concentrates on simplicity here. With just five words, she explores colors, shapes, and fruit with the antics of a juggling bear. Rearranging the four words of the title, she presents the bear in various poses with the fruit. By highlighting the colors of the bear, she emphasizes the shapes of the fruit. Her unnamed bear is a sweet, whimsical creature whose rear-end is often modeling the shapes and colors of the fruits. Pre-school children giggled infectiously as we “read” this book. Because the pictures correspond perfectly with the text, even four year-olds were able to “read” and loved interacting with the simple, rhyming text.

The inviting illustrations are rendered in a soft, warm palette. The front endpapers are bordered on the bottom with the orange, pear, and apple. The apple is green with just a slight blush of red. Gravett introduces each fruit with a full page spread and the label underneath: orange, pear, apple. Bear is next and he is standing upright with his arms opened wide and his hands empty. In the next double-page spread, the apple and the pear are opposite the bear who is now depicted in the color orange. Next we are presented with “Orange pear” and opposite “Apple bear” with the pear turning orange and the bear green with a hint of red. His rear is shaped like an apple. Giggles all around. Not to spoil the ending, but the back end pages are bordered with eaten fruit.

Invite children to make up other rhymes that “play” with colors or animals.
Compare with EACH PEACH PEAR PLUM by Janet and Alan Ahlberg.

Other picture books by the same author:
WOLVES. ISBN 9781416914914

By Cay Geisler

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