CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 22. . . .February 8, 2013
What's Up Bear? A Book About Opposites is a concept book about opposites. The story begins with Sophie, a young girl, and her stuffed bear talking about their upcoming trip to New York City. In the story, readers see that the two main characters are also opposites. Sophie is excited about the trip, and she describes New York as big and beautiful while Bear describes it as big and scary. The story introduces young readers to 14 different opposite concepts: yes and no, up and down, fast and slow, tall and short, over and under, go and stop, hello and goodbye, wet and dry, fancy and plain, new and old, big and small, lost and found, sad and happy, and forget and remember, with the last being a concept you don't often see included in many children's concept books. Each of these concepts is introduced on a new page with the opposing concept on the next page, thereby making it easy for small children to put the concepts together.
The font is in large print, and the concept words are bolded, making them easily recognizable to young readers. Illustrator Sean L. Moore's use of digitally coloured cartoons really makes the pictures stand out. The book has full-page illustrations, and several of Moore's illustrations are of New York landmarks: LaGuardia Airport, Times Square, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, the subway, American Museum of Natural History and Central Park. The back of the book also contains information on the seven New York landmarks that are featured in the story.
Kim Skarra is a school librarian at Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Elementary School in Calgary, AB.
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