Old Bear: Kevin Henkes

Old Bear

Author/Illustrator: Kevin Henkes
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Year: 2008
Brief Summary:  Old Bear goes to sleep for the winter and dreams about when he was a little cub.

Awards, Honors and Prizes:

Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature, 2009 Honor Book Picture Book United States
Charlotte Zolotow Award, 2009 Highly Commended United States
Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla Award, 2009 Outstanding Book United States
Mind the Gap Award, 2009 Best use of lots of colors United Statesundefined
Parents’ Choice Award, 2008 Recommended Picture Books United States

Best Books:
A Baker’s Dozen: The Best Children’s Books for Family Literacy, 2009 ; Pennsylvania Center for the Book
Best Children’s Books of the Year, 2009 ; Bank Street College of Education
Booklist Book Review Stars , Jun. 1, 2008 ; American Library Association
Capitol Choices, 2009 ; The Capitol Choices Committee
Children’s Catalog Supplement to Nineteenth Edition, 2009 ; H. W. Wilson Company
Choices, 2009 ; Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Horn Book Fanfare, 2008 ; Horn Book
Notable Children’s Books, 2009 ; ALSC American Library Association
Publishers Weekly Book Review Stars, July 7, 2008 ; Cahners
School Library Journal Best Books, 2008 ; Cahners
School Library Journal Book Review Stars, September 2008 ; Cahners
State Provisional Reading List: 
Virginia Readers’ Choice Award, 2009-2010; Nominee

Ideas for using this book in classroom or library:

  • Discussion of hibernation.  What does it mean?  What animals hibernate?  Why do you think they hibernate?  Do you know that some plants “hibernate” too?
  • Seasons — study each page and the details in the illustrations…  What do we associate with each seasons — colors, activities, plants that pop up or fall, etc.
  • Review colors with younger students
  • Have child write about their favorite season and illustrate.
  • Have child write a “memoir” about when they were “young”.  Will be fun to read especially with younger students.

Brief notes on curriculum connections/content learning standards/Common Core/etc.

  • Science — hibernations, seasons
  • Art – colors
  • Text-to-self connections

Special features included (if applicable) — index; timeline; author’s notes; further reading; etc.
Accessed at: Thrasher Elementary Library


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