Grades K to 2
Putnam Juvenile, 2007
This book’s warm and vibrant colors invite early childhood listeners to enjoy the topic of the season. The author, David Stein, takes the viewpoint of a first-year bear cub as he encounters this seasonal change for the first time, such as leaves turning colors and falling to the earth. Exhausted by trying to make sense of this surprising seasonal change, the bear uses the soft, fallen leaves as bedding for his long winter’s sleep…only to wake and find that a new family of budding leaves has already appeared.
Created with black ink and a bamboo pen, Stein’s artwork also “leaves” some details for children to notice–such as the fallen leaves that Bear tries to put back on trees by spearing them onto living twigs. While reading, ask early learners to look for other subtleties. What other animal friends visit Bear’s den? How many trees does Bear’s island have? What does Bear see and feel when he awakens?
Educators will find this picture book a natural for lessons on leaves or animal behavior, and children will enjoy seeing fall through the eyes of another animal as young and innocent as themselves.
Try coupling this book with the following PLT activities:
Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood:
#3 – Get in Touch with Trees
#5 – Signs of Fall
#10 – Trees as Habitats
PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide:
#61 – The Closer You Look
#64 – Looking at Leaves
#78 – Signs of Fall
#79 – Tree Lifecycle
Nature Activities for Families: