Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susannah Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of writers who contribute a picture book review and related resources.
Self-esteem has six basic components. Today’s picture book selection addresses all of them: Mastering tasks and skills, valuing one’s own strengths and qualities, feeling loved and appreciated, learning to express one’s feelings, acknowledging and coping with fears and accepting and loving oneself. I know that parents and teachers will enjoy the simple eco-friendly craft project at the end of my review.
The main character of the story loves singing and Wednesday’s guest post was from Daria, a talented musician who travels around the globe, sharing her passion for music with young children. I hope everyone will check out her post and visit her amazing websites! She provided us with several great musical instrument-making crafts and is giving away a wonderful poster that celebrates music around the world.
A Gift-Bear for the King
Written by Carl Memling
Illustrated by Lillian Hoban
Publishers: E.P. Dutton & Co (1966)
Ages: 2 – 8
Mastering tasks and skills, dealing with disappointment, overcoming adversity, helping others, friendship
“There was once an old man and an old woman who lived in a hut in the forest. They were very poor, but they had a little bear cub for a friend.”
A very talented bear-cub is sent as a birthday gift for the king by a loving old couple. As the bear-cub travels to reach the king, he meets and helps many people. When he finally arrives at the palace, the king’s birthday is long over and the guards lock him up in the dungeon because he is so late. While in his prison cell, the bear-cub sings a sad and beautiful song about his travels. Will the bear-cub spend the rest of his days in the dungeon? Does the king ever find out about his special present? What will happen to the old couple?
Why do I like this book:
The foundations of our self-esteem are laid in the first five years of life…I love picture books that celebrate any of the six components that help a child develop a positive self-image…and this book addresses all six! Gift-Bear for the King was my oldest son’s favorite story…we both knew it by heart by the time he was four. Gift-Bear could sing, stand on his front paws and wash the dishes…he was always ready to help those in need. Young children will be singing along with the refrain before you turn the last page.
The illustrations, in Lillian Hoban’s inimitable style, are charming.
There is a lovely crown craft activity here
There are quite a few crowns and other hat-making craft activities here.
There are excellent step-by-step crown-making instructions with photos here.
KING OR QUEEN FOR A DAY CROWN
The crown you help your child make can be as simple or as fancy as you like. The picture is from a kit you can buy from Oriental Trading Company. I included it to show you how ornate you can make the crown…but your child will enjoy wearing a simple one also.
You will need: Construction paper, buttons or sequins (optional) crayons or markers, glue, scissors.
1. Cut strips of construction paper and measure to fit your child’s head. Piece together with glue if necessary.
2. Cut a zig-zag along the top edge. You can make it fancy like the one above or just simple.
3. Let your child decorate with crayons and/or markers.
4. If you wish, add “jewels” cut from different colored construction paper…or buttons…or sequins. Glue into place and let dry.
5. Fit the decorated crown strip to your child’s head and glue the two ends together.
6. Important tip: Most of you are too young to remember one of the first “reality” shows, Queen for a Day, where an ordinary woman was featured and given prizes and made to feel very special. Perhaps your child can be Queen or King for a Day in your home…helping choose the dinner menu, picking the family game that will be played. Feeling loved, valued and appreciated is such an important element in building self-esteem…children who are confident are less likely to be victims of bullying.
This post is part of a series for parents and teachers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays hosted by Susannah Leonard Hill. Click on her link and find lots of other picture book suggestions with summaries and activities.