A Bear and His Boy
written by Sean Bryan; illustrated by Tom Murphy
2007 (Arcade Publishing)
Source: Orange County Public Library
"Who are you?" asked Mack, to the kid on his back.
Mack is a very busy bear who wakes up one morning to find a boy on his back. He tells the boy, named Zach, that a busy day was ahead so there was "no time to slack." In fact, Mack's schedule is "totally packed." The day starts with a plate of flapjacks. From there, Mack accepts a "Bear of the Year" plaque. After doing jumping jacks in the gym, the twosome looks at books in the library stacks. See a pattern? Each page features a word with an ending /k/ sound. They are not all spelled the same, but the sound is there. And there is something else going on here. Mack is a bear on the move. In fact, he might be a wee bit over-scheduled. Who rides a kayak and plays quarterback in the same day? Finally, Zach grabs his attention and challenges Mack to "smell the lilacs." When he follows Zach's advice, Mack learns how to relax. This is a lesson many of us should heed.
It's not easy to write a book that rhymes. It's not easy to write a picture book filled with witty humor. It's not easy to write a book with a lesson that resonates. When you do all three in one book, that's pretty impressive. If you're teaching kindergarten and working on the /k/ ending sound, you will want to check out A Bear and His Boy. If you're teaching second grade and working on finding the lesson in a book, you will want to check out A Bear and His Boy. If you want to laugh and relax for a few minutes, you should find a copy of A Bear and His Boy.