Category Archives: Board Books

Bear Series – BEAR ABOUT TOWN (Board Book Review)

Written by: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated by: Debbie Harter

When I signed up for the Barefoot Books Stallholder program, I was given a starter pack that contains all of the Barefoot Books Best Sellers of all Time. One of them, is this board book (but also comes in Paper Back Edition), BEAR ABOUT TOWN.

Just like my previous post about BEAR IN A SQUARE, the main character that the author Stella Blackstone puts in the spotlight is the BEAR. To give a more detailed look of the bear, I will try to describe to you how the bear looks like: The bear in this book is portrayed as friendly, engaging and always on the go. The bear has a smooth and even skin tone that appears clean and inviting. The bear does not look scary at all. In fact to me, it does not give the impression that he will growl and give the reader a look that says, “Go away!”. This bear looks huggable and throughout this series, the bear seems to be smiling even though the mouth is not visible because it is hidden under the bear’s nose.
Each page of the book contains the same language format as the previous Bear book, which is simple, direct and one-sentence per page. In this book, the Bear goes to different locations in the local geography introducing places in the neighborhood such as the bakery, the swimming pool, cinema, gym, toyshop and the park. As the Bear goes around these neighborhood locations, the days of the week are also introduced. Each day of the week, the Bear visits one area until Sunday comes, where the Bear’s activities are done. At the end of the book, there is a map which can also double up as a maze for an additional activity for the readers to do. 
Recommendations to use for:
1. introducing the DAYS OF THE WEEK
2. local geography
3. possible play time activities
4. identify things that are associated in a certain local destination



Bear Series – BEAR IN A SQUARE (Board Book Review)


Written by: Stella Blackstone
Illustrated by: Debbie Harter


This is one of the books that is included in the Bear Series that is written by Stella Blackstone (I believe there are six of them, and each of these books are also written in Spanish edition). I have seen four out of the six books in this series and each one of them is phenomenal. The four books that I have seen and read to my daughter are the following: Bear in Sunshine, Bear about Town, Bear’s Busy Family and Bear in a Square.

I remember the very first Bear Series that I read – and I saw it in my doctor’s office waiting room! I honestly got hooked on it for my daughter and wanted too buy the full series for her!  That particular book was “Bear in a Square”, which happened to be my daughter’s most-wanted book this week.

I can see why it is her favorite of the week. First, the words in each page are simple and direct. Each page asks the reader to be interactive with the text as well as the pictures. It asks the reader to find the particular shape that is hidden in the page. For her age, one direct sentence to learn and identify shapes is all that she needs to learn the concept of shapes. There are exactly 10 different shapes that are presented on this book. It goes in the order of: square, heart, circle, rectangle, moon shape, triangle, diamond, zigzag, oval and star.

Secondly, I think she is fascinated with the bold and fantastic colors that are embodied in each of the pages. The BEAR in the book is always present in all the pages as part of the search. Not only that but the scenes where the shapes are hidden are diverse. An example is, “Find the hearts in the queen’s hair” and the scene on this page is a castle with a vivid picture of a queen with two hearts on her hair. Other scenes that are used are the school, the pool, the sea and the cave.

This book can be used in so many different ways. As the book progressed to different shapes, the number of shapes is also increasing. First there is only one square to find, then 2 hearts, then 3 circles…and so on until the last shape which is the star with the last number of 10. A child can easily identify what is also asked on the text, by checking on the right hand side of the book to see what shape is being asked for. A child can also self-correct himself as to the number of shapes that are present in each page by looking and comparing the number of the shapes on the right hand side to the number of shapes the child has identified.

What I like about this book is that my daughter really sits down until the end of the book and gets to enjoy each page of the book. I guess, what goes in her mind is that the pictures are so real, they are almost “touchable” to the eye.