Review Blog

Oct 20 2009

Bear and Chook by the sea by Lisa Shanahan and Emma Quay

cover image

Lothian Children's Books, 2009. ISBN 9780734411112.
(Ages: 5-7) Recommended. Bear decides it is time to go to the sea. The air is balmy and there is a holiday sky. Chook is very uncertain about this big adventure - they don't know the way and even when Bear assures her that he can find the sea, Chook is convinced that it is too far for her. Chook has a very frightening journey, but Bear reassures her that all is well. Once they get to the sea, they have lots of fun until a big wave dumps Bear and it is Chook's turn to bolster Bear's confidence about returning home safely.
Shanahan's text is a delight and her use of many sound words like 'honky-tonk-tonk-tonk' for a frog and 'rickety-clickety-rickety-clickety-chooo-oooo' for a train as they 'flomp, flomp, scratch, scratch' along to the sea make for a lively read aloud session. Short descriptive sentences and repetition will aid the beginning reader.
Emma Quay's illustrations are gorgeous. Beautiful blues, yellows and greens bring alive the countryside and the ocean. The personalities of Bear and Chook are quite distinct and the changing expressions of fear and joy on their faces is captivating. I was left with a lovely warm feeling about the power of friendship as I looked at the illustrations of Chook lolling against Bear as they watch the moon.
Themes of friendship, adventure and a seaside trip as well as the memorable illustrations will ensure that this becomes a favourite with classes and individuals alike.
Pat Pledger

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