CM . . .
. Volume XVIII Number 5. . . .September 30, 2011
In A Birthday for Bear, with illustrations in ink and watercolour, Bear does his best to ignore his birthday. His friend Mouse, however, is determined to celebrate Bear's birthday with him. Throughout the story, Bear keeps himself busy to forget that it is his birthday, but Mouse goes to great lengths to celebrate with Bear. He gets creative with his disguises and his reasons for "tap, tap tapping" on Bear's door, or "rap, rap, rapping" on Bear's window. Each time, though, Bear sees through Mouse's disguise and sends Mouse on his way. In the end, Mouse's persistence pays off as Bear discovers he does like birthdays and birthday cake. He just thought he didn't like his birthday because he had never celebrated it before.
A Birthday for Bear is quite enjoyable. The characters of Bear and Mouse are consistently portrayed both within this story and in the previous book, A Visitor for Bear. Some of the repetition in this story echoes words and phrases repeated in the Visitor book as well, a situation which results in reader/listener familiarity and an ability to predict or recite along.
Karyn Miehl, a mother of two and a secondary school English teacher, lives in Kingsville, ON.
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