Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A review of Berlioz the Bear by Jan Brett; book 2 of 365

Jan Brett is well-known in the world of children's literature.  Her books are always beautifully illustrated and the stories are timeless.  Berlioz the Bear is no exception. 

This is the story of a bear who is an orchestra leader.  However, there seems to be something wrong with his instrument; every time he attempts to play the double bass, a strange buzzing sound is heard.  When the wagon carrying Berlioz and the other animals to the town festival gets stuck alongside the road, they are rescued in a surprising way.  A full review of this book can be read by clicking on the title of this post.

This book provides a wonderful opportunity to introduce children to the composer of Romantic Classical music, Hector Berlioz.  One of his most well-known pieces is The Hungarian March.  Play the Hungarian March before reading the book.  Show pictures of traditional Hungarian clothing and have students compare to the clothing worn by the animals in the story.

There are also other books about bears that could be read to students studying real and imaginary bear characters.  Some of those books are listed below.

Black Bear: North America's Bear by Stephen R. Swinburne

Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle

Little Bear by Elsa Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak

Ask Mr. Bear by Marjorie Flack

The Teddy Bear by David M. McPhail

Sleepy Bears by Mem Fox and Kerry Argent

Hush Little Polar Bear by Jeff Mack

Bears by Emma Helbrough

Bears! Bears! Bears! by Bob Barner

Where Teddy Bears Come From by Mark Burgess and Russell Ayto

The Bear by James Olver Curwood

It's the Bear by Jez Alborough

Grizzly Bears by Gail Gibbons

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