Counting on One Paw: Bear Counts by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
MOUSE AND BEAR SHARE BREAKFAST.
BASKING IN THE MORNING SUN.
BEAR LOOKS UP AND POINTS,
AND THE BEAR COUNTS... ONE!
Fresh from his mastery of colors, here comes Karma Wilson's beloved Bear in his second concept book, Bear Counts (The Bear Books) (Margaret K. Elderry Books, 2015). This time it's numbers, numbers everywhere for Bear as the day begins.
There's just one robin up in the nest, and just one fresh berry left, which Mouse offers Bear before they begin the day. Down the path they meet Hare with a pair of apples, so Bear adds them to his count. Soon the story begins to get crowded.
BEAR HEARS FUNNY SOUNDS
COMING FROM AN ASPEN TREE.
IT'S RAVEN, OWL, AND WREN,
AND THE BEAR COUNTS... THREE!
NUMBERS, NUMBERS, EVERYWHERE.
1, 2, 3!
As they have throughout their best-selling Bear Books, author Karma Wilson and ace artist Jane Chapman work together to re-create the charming friendship circle of Bear, Mouse, Hare, and the rest, this time to teach a counting lesson set in Wilson's familiar bouncy verses ("lovely lily pads" rhymed with "pinching crawdads") which count up to five and offer plenty of review in the easy-going "numbers everywhere" refrain which follows each quatrain.
Artist Jane Chapman alternates spot art and full-bleed spreads to introduce the usual forest crew in bright acrylic paintings loaded with lots of countable things besides those in the text. In the final two-page spread Chapman gives the reader a glorious underwater scene as the animals, even the clawful crawdad, jump into the pond for a refreshing swim. For the youngest who may have not met Bear before in Wilson and Chapman's large format picture books, this new series is a great introduction to the friends and fun the longer books offer. Pair this one with its predecessor concept book, Bear Sees Colors (The Bear Books), (see review here) and you can count on requests to "read it again!"