Monday, February 20, 2012

Book #51: Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? By Nancy White Carlstrom, Illustrations by Bruce Degen

Image from
This book follows little Jesse Bear through his day from sun up to bedtime. As the day progresses Jesse’s mom asks him the rhyming question, “Jesse Bear, what will you wear?” Jesse’s answers range from the practical, “My shirt of red, pulled over my head,” to the whimsical, “I’ll wear the sun on my legs that run.” As the book ends, Jesse’s parents tuck him into bed and we watch him fall asleep.

Degen’s illustrations are bright and playful. Jesse’s house is quaint and rustic, full of wood furniture and flowery wallpaper. Jesse himself is a wonderfully exuberant toddler who never stops going from morning until night. His joyful expressions and lively poses bring the book to life.

The repetitive text is formatted in a patterned structure which makes it easy for adults to read aloud and for kids to follow along. The rhymes use every day words that toddlers will recognize (chair, hair, sun, run) and make it a “read it one more time!” book. Use this book to talk about phonological awareness (see my post on Is Your Mama a Llama?).

Use this book for a clothing themed storytime and wear a red shirt and blue pants when you read it.  Follow up the book with a clothing craft. Pre-cut pants and shirts from different colors of construction paper (Best Kids Book Site template) and have each child color the outfit they’re wearing that day. If you have a lot of kids that come in skirts or dresses, cut some of those out too.

Toddlers will love this book and they’re also the perfect age group for action rhymes. Try What Are You Wearing (See my post on AndTo Name Just a Few: Red Yellow Green Blue), If You’re Wearing Red Today, and the Color Rhyme by Jean Warren. All of them have the kids identify the colors of their clothes to participate in the rhyme.



  1. hey I love this book too! I definitely was that kid saying "read it one more time!" BUT. I also have a sneaking suspicion that this book may be the reason why I change my outfits about six times everyday........... THANKS ALOT JESSEBEAR. :)

  2. At least you were a clean kid! :)