Bear on a Bike

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Bear on a Bike
Hannah Shaw
Alison Green Books
Meet Bear, an immediately engaging character who has made a scrummy-looking cake for his pal Mouse. But, on arrival at Mouse’s house, he discovers that said friend has already departed, zooming off on his trusty motor scooter. Thus ensues an amazing chase with Bear in hot pursuit having quickly abandoned his bike, bagging rides on all manner of vehicles: a lorry, a bus, a trolley,

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a skateboard, a train,

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a canoe, a crane even. This one deposits our ursine hero onto a steamboat and he then moves to a campervan, a tuk-tuk, (love it!)

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a stately sedan, skis, a biplane, and finally, a parachute that drops him unceremoniously into the welcoming arms – almost – of …

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And you might guess where the meeting takes place.
This one is fab. Totally brilliant. Especially the fact that all the while during the chase, Bear has Mouse in his sights and oh, so nearly within his grasp.
And, even better, it has all the vital elements for beginning readers and some: a hugely enjoyable story, great characters, text perfectly matched to hugely humorous, story-telling pictures (these are visually cumulative in places and every one is a potential starting point for children’s own flights of fancy,) rhyme and rhythm, speech bubbles, signs – great to see a bookshop among them and more…
With its circular structure what more can any one ask?
I have been thinking for some while about re-doing elements of Learning to Read with Picture Books (that I penned as a fledgling teacher) as a weblog. This will be among my very first recommendations thereon.

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