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[Monday Reading] Bears and Literacy/Numeracy

"Bears Make The Best Reading Buddies" by Carmen Oliver and Jean Claude | "Bears Make The Best Math Buddies" by Carmen Oliver and Jean Claude.


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community. 

I am currently teaching an undergraduate course for our Special Education preservice teachers in the university on the Diagnosis and Remediation of Literacy and Mathematics Disabilities. We are adopting a strengths-based approach to the course, whereby I encourage them to cultivate first the love for literacy and numeracy as a fundamental approach to ensure that any kind of remediation even works. These are two picturebooks that I managed to find on Overdrive that I recommended strongly to our preservice teachers as they touch on both literacy and numeracy – also a good fit to our current reading theme as we explore the world in books.

Bears Make The Best Reading Buddies [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Carmen Oliver Illustrated by Jean Claude
Published by Capstone Young Readers (2016)
ISBN: 1623706548 (ISBN13: 9781623706548) Literary Awards: CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards Nominee for Read (2017). Borrowed from Singapore National Library Board Overdrive. Book photos taken by me. 

When Adelaide announced to her class that her reading buddy is a Bear, it was pretty natural that Mrs. Fitz-Pea freaked out for a little bit.

However, Adelaide presented a very strong argument as to why bears actually make the best reading buddies, even I was convinced!

I am not very sure exactly what it is about this book that appealed to me – but I find that as I am teaching undergraduate preservice teachers who are expected to introduce literacy to young readers, the simplicity of narratives such as this one that speak about children’s inevitable challenges in learning reading, including frustration in sounding out words or dealing with hard-to-pronounce words, can be comforting.

Bears Make The Best Math Buddies [Amazon | Book Depository]

Written by Carmen Oliver  Illustrated by Jean Claude
Published by Capstone Young Readers (2019)
ISBN13: 9781684460793. Borrowed from Singapore National Library Board Overdrive. Book photos taken by me. 

Following the popularity of the first book, the second book in the series came out three years later. Since my undergraduate course deals with both literacy and numeracy, this series is absolutely perfect.

Given that Bear has already proven his worth as a reading buddy, Mrs. Fitz-Pea was shown to not freak out as much any longer. However, she still needed to be persuaded that Bear can be an equally good math buddy.

I like how this book shows young readers how math is everywhere: from measuring distances to telling time to solving puzzles:

The practical applicability of math in daily life is also shown in the story, while remaining fun and engaging. I also like the clean lines of Jean Claude’s art which I feel make the stories even stronger. Educators and parents would also be happy to note that the third book in the series is already out! Unfortunately, it still is not available on Overdrive, but I am definitely looking forward to finding it:

Bears Make The Best Writing Buddies by Carmen Oliver and Jean Claude [Amazon | Book Depository]

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8 comments on “[Monday Reading] Bears and Literacy/Numeracy

  1. This book looks super cute, especially given the current experience of having teddie bears in windows for people to go bear hunting. Is that happening where you are?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lindabaie

    I love books with Bears in them, Myra, & these are all new to me. They look as if they would be fun for young readers. I do like the idea that the 2nd one shows how math is everywhere! Wishing you a good week no matter the crazy challenges!


  3. This looks like a wonderful series Myra! Hope you and your family are staying safe these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jana Eschner

    All three of these books look amazing. I’ll definitely have to look for them when our library reopens. Thanks for sharing. Stay healthy and safe!


  5. Those look super cute. I do enjoy the books that describe early reading for newbies. Kate Messner’s How to Read a Story is a fave of mine for this but I like this one too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. These all look so adorable, Myra! And I must say that I just love the granny square afghan in Bears Make The Best Reading Buddies!! I’ve been showing my 6 year old how to crochet granny squares, this month. Thanks for sharing this series with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bear does look really cute. I am on the lookout for books to tempt my special education nephew in to reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Of Bears and Books: Meta Story and Intertextuality in “Bearnard’s Book” – Gathering Books

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