Polar bears are my favorite animal, so I was delighted to discover Bear Play by Miela Ford. This book features large, engaging photographs of two polar bears enjoying each other’s company. The close-up photos allow the reader to see tooth marks on the bears’ ball and water dripping from their fur. The pictures are accompanied by simple captions written in the voice of one of the polar bears. For example, the words on one spread read, “We’ll play in the water together.” Most pages have only three or four simple words, making this book an excellent choice for sharing with young children with short attention spans.
Children will be able to relate to the straightforward story of two friends meeting, playing together, and saying goodbye until the next day. While the captions are a charming addition to the photographs, they are not necessary for following the plot. Instead of reading the text, children could look at the pictures and tell the story in their own words. Bear Play is fun to share with a group. When I read it aloud in storytime, I enjoyed using my voice to play up the drama of the ball flying through the air. Miela Ford’s other books that feature animal photographs include Follow the Leader (which is also about polar bears) and Little Elephant.
Check the WRL catalog for Bear Play.