Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dog and Bear: Two's Company

Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. 2008. DOG AND BEAR: TWO’S COMPANY. New York: Roaring Brook Press. ISBN 9781596432734 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-1]

Laura Vaccaro Seeger presents a second collection of stories about a dog and a stuffed bear. In this book Dog and Bear’s friendship continues, even as they confront some common childhood problems. When Dog becomes angry with Bear, he threatens to leave. Bear cleverly convinces him to stay with a bowl of ice cream. Dog kindly returns the favor by baking Bear a birthday cake. Unfortunately Dog eats the whole cake before his friend arrives, but Bear is just happy to see the birthday candle. The two friends even take turns caring for the other when they get sick.

Seeger’s straightforward, but moving, language evokes the true nature of friendship. Dog and Bear provide a wonderful example for young children who are still learning how to be a good friend. Her boldly painted illustrations are simple, with plenty of white space, but young readers will not have trouble identifying the characters’ emotions. This is an excellent picture book with short “chapters” for young readers.

This would be a great choice for a lesson modeling friendship. The stories are short, so they could be read as a whole class activity. Students could also compare Dog and Bear’s friendship to that of another popular friendship, Frog and Toad.

Other books for young children about friendship:
Henkes, Kevin. CHESTER’S WAY. ISBN 9780688154721
Lobel, Arnold. FROG AND TOAD ARE FRIENDS. ISBN 9780064440202
Rohmann, Eric. MY FRIEND RABBIT. ISBN 9780439579308

By Kimberly C. Kinnaird

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