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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Grumpy Bear, Grouchy Bear by Lynn Ward

Bear is hungry. Tummy-rumbling hungry. But no matter how hard he tries Bear can’t catch his supper, which makes him a very grumpy, grouchy bear indeed. Bear gets into a few pickles in this fun rhyming story. He’s a hungry bear who finds much more than he was looking for, but ends up with exactly what he needs.

Grumpy Bear, Grouchy Bear is a sweet, simple little story that pre-schoolers in particular will love. With super simple rhyme and a lovely rhythm, it makes for a great book to read aloud. Ward practically begs you to commit to the story, with plenty of opportunity to really use your voice to tell the tale. This book will be a hit in preschools and early school rooms – it’s the kind of book teachers dream of for a read-aloud session.

Ward crams the book with lots of adjectives, onomatopoeia and adverbs to bring bear and his emotions to life. All the wonderful vocabulary in the story makes for a rich reading experience that you’ll return to time and time again. There will be lots of ‘unknown’ words for little readers; words that they might never have encountered before. However, you won’t have to stop and explain them if you get caught up in the telling. Ward and illustrator Monty Lee have worked perfectly together to provide the context for tricky words.

Lee uses a very muted and dull palette, that somehow works perfectly. The vibrancy of the text contrasted to the pictures make for an unusual, yet effective, pairing. Little readers will love matching the words to Bear’s emotions, and can almost use the pictures to ‘read’ the book themselves.

Grumpy Bear, Grouchy Bear was a real surprise. The cover gave it an almost ‘old timey’ feel that we were at first a little hesitant about. But the saying not to judge a book by its cover is true. Grumpy Bear, Grouchy Bear is now a firm favourite in our home.

Reviewer: Rebekah Fraser

Yellow Brick Books, RRP $24.99


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