CM . . .
. Volume XII Number 16 . . . .April 14, 2006
Sinclair, Wonder Bear is a part of the “Blue Go Bananas” series of books which are designed to bridge the gap from picture books to chapter books. Towards this end, Sinclair, the Wonder Bear is a long book for a young child at 37 pages. However, the pages are mostly covered with full-colour illustrations, with 3-7 lines of text placed on each page. This format will keep picture book lovers engaged and allow those reading text to derive and confirm meaning from the closely matched pictures and from the word balloons many contain.
Malorie Blackman’s story is about a stuffed toy bear, Sinclair, who, at night, when his child owner is asleep, becomes a super hero. He flies around the world to help people, like passengers on a train traveling towards a broken rail, and tourists who need help to see the coral reef and fish from their tour boat. To help the train, Sinclair turns himself into a steel rail to replace the broken one. To help the tourists, Sinclair becomes a sheet of glass in the bottom of the boat.
This book carries the Guided Reading level of J and is best suited for a grade two student. They will enjoy the story and pictures, and the challenging vocabulary will not frustrate them.
Sinclair, Wonder Bear also contains some extra pages after the story which explain, at the same reading level and with similar illustrations, about different everyday things which are made from wool, wood and rubber. This story extension is based on the story fact that Sinclair had changed himself into wool, wood and rubber. There are also brief explanations and activities about texture and magnetism. These extension pages will allow the students to read in a style other than narrative, but none of these pages are as interesting or imaginative as the story itself.
Robert Groberman is a grade one teacher at David Brankin Elementary in Surrey, BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.