Review: Bear On A Bike by Stella Blackstone

Bear on a Bike
Join Bear as he tries out different forms of transport and has an adventure with each one. Rhyme and repetition support the learning layers of travel and transportation, as Bear travels in a raft, a rocket ship, a boat, a bike, a steam train, and a carriage.

Ages 1 to 4 years

Written By: Stella Blackstone

Illustrated By: Debbie Harter

My Review:

This is a favorite book with preschoolers. This board book by Stella Blackstone is well written and easy to read. Children will easily pick up on the repetition and poetic flow of the story. Bear and his polite young friend ("Please wait for me!") take you on exciting travels by way of adventurous modes of transportation:
* bear on a bike
* bear on a raft
* bear in a steam train
* bear on a boat
* bear in a carriage
* bear on a rocket

The vivid illustrations invite you to stop and explore the many interesting things along the way - name market foods, count animals, find hidden critters and laugh at silly things. Debbie Harter's vivid illustrations are so bright and colorful. Debbie has illustrated many children's book including the Bear series, Herb the Vegetarian Dragon, and many others.

Stella Blackstone has written many wonderful books for young children including the Cleo the Cat series, Island in the Sun and Zoe and her Zebra. Other recommended books in the Bear series include Bear At Home--told in rhyming couplets, this book teaches the function of different rooms in Bear's house -- and Bear In a Square, which encourages the reader to find the shapes in the story. You can read my review of bear in Sunshine at:

Bear About Town is another favorite of mine. Here's my review of this great board book:

Take a look at these editorial reviews of Bear On A Bike:

From Publishers Weekly
A youngster hurries to keep up with a bear as he tries out various methods of transportation in Blackstone and Harter's eye-catching paper-over-board book, a companion to their Bear in a Square. Rhythmic quatrains in question-and-answer format establish the momentum for each spread: "Bear on a bike,/ As happy as can be,/ Where are you going, bear?/ Please wait for me!" A child runs after the bear, who answers on the following page: "I'm going to the market,/ Where fruit and flowers are sold,/ Where people buy fresh oranges/ And pots of marigold." A different environment emerges on each spread, whether the busy outdoor market peopled with funny shoppers (like the elderly lady with a rooster on her head) or the teepee-dotted prairie that the bear crosses by covered wagon. The abundance of bright colors and busy patterns is contained by tidy draftsmanship, so that the overall effect is manageably dynamic and frolicsome. This travel primer has plenty of get-up-and-go. Ages 2-5.

From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1-A bear takes off to see the world on a variety of vehicles: a bicycle, a raft, a covered wagon, a steam train, a sailboat, a hot-air balloon, a carriage, and a rocket. As each mode of transportation is introduced, a young African-American boy calls out, "Where are you going, bear?/Please wait for me!" The bear takes the child along on his journeys where he discovers exciting animals, people, and places. As the bear blasts off in the rocket, the boy remains behind and calls out, "Wherever you are going, bear,/Goodbye and goodnight!" Despite several awkward rhythms, the story works as a read-aloud. The strength of this book, however, lies in Harter's flat, colorful cartoon art. Black-and-white accents in the cheery, sun-drenched landscapes unite the illustrations and add balance. The bear is depicted as a friendly, caramel-brown creature who comfortably walks through a multicultural world of interesting, jolly people. The playful pictures extend to the endpapers where the various modes of transportation glide across a turquoise background.
Shawn Brommer, Southern Tier Library System, Painted Post, NY

I highly recommend this book to you. Plus, you'll want to look at Stella Blackstone's Counting Cockatoos and My Granny Went To Market. To order books, please visit my website.

~ LadyD

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