Saturday 6 July 2013

The Bear Went Over the Mountain

The Bear Went Over the Mountain [with CD] by Louis Shea (Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $16.99
ISBN 978-1-74283-371-2
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Louis Shea is fast becoming one of my favourite illustrators of picture books inhabited by animals. And The Bear Went Over the Mountain is fantastic. Every page is filled with the most wonderfully expressive animals, from a yawning beaver, to a protective penguin, to a rhino intent on winning, to a very surprised salmon. The pictures are colourful, bold, detailed, confident and incredibly entertaining.

The text is an amusing take on the classic song by the same name and starts with the bear, but then has different animals continue in relay around the world’s settings. So the bear goes down from the mountains to see what is in the forest, then a fox goes from the forest to see what is on the beach, there the turtle goes to see what is in the ocean, and so on.

The MOTH flew through the storm
To see what he could see.
What do you think he saw?

CHAMELEONS in the jungle,
Their camouflage was a bungle!
Golly Gosh! Oh my! Oh me!
It was a sight to see.

Young children will love this picture book. There is so much to see in the illustrations and it’s fun to read aloud. But if you are asked to read it too many times, put on the accompanying CD and let Jay Laga’aia sing it for you. He performs the song really well and has a fabulous voice that most children will recognise as belonging to a favourite Play School presenter.

I highly recommend this book and CD.

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