This classic book was first published way back in 1989 but I had never seen it before when my first born got it as a gift from her godfather. Within a week it became a family favourite and I could now recite it by heart! We’ve been reading it for over three years now at least every couple of weeks – true staying power!
Why is it so good?
When very young my kids particularly liked the repetition and the simple language. Both began to add the ‘uh-uh’ as one of their earliest words and certainly their earliest engagement with the text of a book. As they get older they have spent time examining the great detail the detailed beautiful illustrations and asking a million questions about them. As a family we added movements to each page that got sillier and bigger as we went on and of course repeating them all during the climactic race home was hilarious. The fact that the story finishes with the whole family in bed wound us down nicely for our own bedtime. We have the board book version and the kids love to look over it themselves. Before my son could talk he would pore over it by himself doing all the sounds and actions for each page.
And in school?
I am sure that any infant class would love this book for the same reasons as my own kids. It would also be a great candidate for shared reading with older classes.
I have adapted it for use in a special class by adding a sensory element for each page e.g. Green shiny fabric which is rubbed to make the swishy swishy sound, a mini fan for the snow storm etc. Depending on the abilities of the kids this can be coupled with the big book version – I found that kids who had never before engaged with books were turning the page to get to the sensory bit that they particularly liked. It can also be paired with geography where the different sensory elements are arranged around a space and the whole class goes on the bear hunt together. Just be careful to keep in control when racing away from the bear!