Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Book #32: Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett

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Using the same 5 words this concept book explores food, shapes, and colors. The book features a bear and a handful of fruit. First, the book establishes what each item looks like on its own. Then Gravett begins mixing and matching, a pear stacked on an apple, an apple colored bear, an orange pear, etc. Next, the bear juggles the fruit. Lastly, he eats each of fruit, one at a time, before trotting off.

The pencil and watercolor illustrations are charming. There’s something about a pear-shaped, pear-colored bear that just makes me giggle. Read the title out loud and then have the kids read the book along with you.

You might think it’s impossible to create an interesting story with just 5 words, but Gravett proves it can be done and done well. Each fruit is easily distinguishable, making it easy for children to find them on each page. If you have plastic or plush fruit and a bear, set those items out for the kids to see. Pass them around after the story while you talk about the book.

Here are a few ideas for expanding on this simple story. Try this 5 Little Apples flannelboard posted on Storytime Katie’s blog. It can also be done with plastic/plush apples or with laminated apples taped to the wall. Follow up with the classic Apples and Bananas song.

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Craft-wise, try making a fruit mobile. Change the fruits to be oranges, pears, and apples. I also found a follow-the-trail activity sheet for the book.

This is a fun excuse to tell some “What do you get when you cross…” jokes. These jokes are corny, but they’re a good way for kids to use wordplay.  And the kids will love telling them over and over to their friends. Here are a few that feature food, a nice tie-in with the book. 

Q. What do you get if you cross an apple and a Christmas tree?
A. Pineapple.
(Joke from: Squigly's Playhouse)

Q. What do you get when you cross a cow and a duck?
A. Milk and quackers!
(Joke from: Kids Goals)

Q:What do you get when you cross a chicken with a caterpillar?
A: Chicken legs for everyone!!
(Joke from: IDS Splash)

Follow this book with a healthy snack of oranges, apples, and pears. Talk about the difference in flavors and colors. The apple in the book is green and red, but apples come in so many colors, bring in a variety if you can.

Like Emily Gravett? Check out my post on Blue Chameleon.


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