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Teddy Bear Learns a Valuable Life Lesson in This Delightful Picture Book

Updated on April 22, 2020
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Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Small Things Matter Just as Much as Big Things

Delightful revisit of the old favorite Teddy Bears' Picnic
Delightful revisit of the old favorite Teddy Bears' Picnic | Source

Revisit the Teddy Bears' Picnic with This New Delightful Story of a Beloved Teddy Bear

Parents who read The Teddy Bears' Picnic as a child will want to add Vikki Vansickle's Teddy Bear of the Year to their child's book collection. Teddy bears are a favorite toy to cuddle with and being a small bear is just as important as being a big bear.

This little teddy bear thinks that he has the best job in the world as his girl, Amena's teddy bear. They do lots of things together. Snuggling at night is one of the best part of his job. Ollie knows that Athena loves him very much. One night an old teddy bear appears at the window and invites Ollie to attend the annual Teddy Bear's Picnic. Teddy bears gather once a year to celebrate the year as an important toy to many boys and girls. Ollie is being invited as a first-timer. The picnic is held far into the woods, and when Ollie arrives, there are teddy bears of all shapes and sizes. All kinds of wonderful treats are being offered. The bears are also participating in races, games, and even singing. Each bear is being honored for a special job that he/she had during the year as a special bear to a special child. A star is awarded to each bear. All of the bears that are receiving the award have done special things for their special child. Ollie is beginning to feel that he has not done anything special for his girl. He feels so ordinary compared to the other bears. Then his name is called! He cannot think of anything that he deserves this star award for, but the bears have this surprise for him. They make Ollie feel so special when they tell him what he is getting his star for. Young readers can take the lesson that Ollie learns as a part of themselves to practice.

Sydney Hanson contributed her talents as an illustrator. The charming illustrations that fill each page help to tell the story. Teddy Bear of the Year was published by Tundra Books, a division of Penguin/Random House Canada Young Readers. It is recommended for ages 3-8 and has an ISBN of 978-0-7352-6392-5.

Charming Illustrations of Teddy Bears Help Tell the Story

Ollie participates in all kinds of activities with his girl
Ollie participates in all kinds of activities with his girl | Source
Ollie is invited to come along to the annual Teddy bear's picnic
Ollie is invited to come along to the annual Teddy bear's picnic | Source
Teddy Bears' Picnic deep in the woods
Teddy Bears' Picnic deep in the woods | Source
Ollie receives his star for a very special job that he did for his girl
Ollie receives his star for a very special job that he did for his girl | Source

Bring Teddy Bears Into the Classroom for Enriching Activities

One of my favorite picture books to use in my preschool and kindergarten classrooms was the original Teddy Bears' Picnic. My students enjoyed the opportunity to bring their favorite teddy bear to school with them when we read this book during the year. I also prepared a few cooking activities to use for enriching the reading experience.

Vikki Vansickle's Teddy Bear of the Year is a fun addition to the classroom library to read along as a continued experience with the Teddy Bears' Picnic.

*Read Teddy Bear of the Year in a story time session. Invite students to bring their favorite teddy bear to class on the day that you plan to read the story.

*Call attention to the variety of teddy bears in the story and the variety that students bring to share the story. Prepare a math activity to count the number of small and large bears. Prepare a math graph that depicts the number of small and large bears.

*Engage students in a discussion of activities that they do with their teddy bear. Give students the opportunity to draw their own bear in an activity that they can do with their bear.

*Prepare a picnic for your students and their bears. Simple cooking activities can be a part of preparing for the picnic. Offer several kinds of bread and sandwich ingredients for students to prepare special sandwiches for their picnic with their won bears. Have cupcakes purchased from the store ready for students to add the icing and decorate the cupcakes for the picnic.

*What lesson did Ollie learn when he received his star award? Engage students in a discussion of being kind to everyone. How can they show kindness to their friends?

*A picnic with teddy bears makes a great end-of-the-school year celebration with your students. Enjoy!

© 2020 Cindy Hewitt


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