‘A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting’ by Michelle Robinson & David Roberts is a masterpiece in storytelling, stuffed full of subtle humour it’s a perfect book for sharing. It provides excellent opportunities for interactive storytelling sessions as you follow the guide very closely to ensure you know all the rules when going Bear Spotting. The opening pages set the tone for this tongue in cheek guide, when reading it aloud I emphasised to the children the need to take this very seriously and the importance of knowing the difference between a black bear and a brown bear.
The children inevitably can’t resist giggling when you are telling them the need to be serious as the story unfolds. As you are sharing the instructions from the guide you can see they are getting the child into more trouble and the contrasting information is hilarious. With a brown bear you should play dead, but to a black bear that’s like an invitation to dinner. With the guide turning out to be less than useful it is up to the child to try and come up with a cunning plan to stop them being on the dinner menu. It really is a thoroughly entertaining and brilliant read it caused so much amusement and joining in when I shared it in my Storytime sessions.
David Robert’s illustrations are gorgeous I really enjoy the stark simplicity of the pages with information on which give it a real feel of an instruction manual versus the richness of the colours when the real action is taking place. He captures perfectly the chaos and confusion which ensues as it becomes clear that our guide is not as useful in keeping us safe from bears as we first imagined. It really is a visual treat which will make children laugh out loud. A true classic which I will be returning to regularly to enjoy.
To find out more about Michelle Robinson the author of lots of fabulous picture books you can visit her website:
To find out more about the award-winning illustrator David Roberts you can visit his website: