Today, as part of Perfect Picture Book Friday, I’m sharing Kelly Bear – Earth, one of a series of lovely picture books and workbooks that help parents and children talk about important issues and concerns. With Easter coming up this weekend, I’ve included a fun Easter craft at the end.
Kelly Bear – Earth
Written by Leah Davies
Illustrated by Joy Hallett
Publisher: Bureau for at Risk Youth (2008)
Ages: 4 and up
Energy conservation, environmental awareness, caring for the earth, making a difference, behavior
“Hi! My name is Kelly Bear and this is a book about me. I live on planet earth. It’s a wonderful place with plants, animals, air, soil and water. There is only ONE earth, so I’m doing all I can to take care of it. I want everyone to enjoy living here.
Little Kelly Bear finds many ways to help conserve resources and keep the environment clean. She saves water by taking short showers and turning off the water while she is brushing her teeth. Her family have their own vegetable garden and try to buy foods that have less packaging. Kelly Bear is careful not to open the refrigerator until she knows what she wants so she doesn’t have to keep the refrigerator door open and waste electricity. Her parents help by recycling plastic and glass and paper because “everyone on earth is part of one big family and we must work together to take care of each other and our planet.”
Why I like this book:
Children will love Kelly Bear! The text explains how Kelly Bear and her family contribute to the good health of the planet and the simple illustrations clearly show this as well. The author, Leah Davies, has been dedicated to the well-being of children for more than four decades. Her professional experience includes being a certified teacher, school counselor, instructor in the Family and Child Development Department, Auburn University, and director of educational and prevention services at a mental health agency.
How a parent can use this book:
From an Amazon review: “The Kelly Bear Beginnings Series of books is priceless. In a simple yet powerful way they engage young children and help them understand, verbalize and accept their feelings, improve their behaviors, and learn to care for their bodies. In this fourth book, children learn not to waste water, electricity and food, to recycle, and to keep our air clean. The book empowers the child and makes him aware of his environment. These books are invaluable in the classroom as well as in the home.
For those of you who fondly remember the wonderful Mr. Rogers and his Neighborhood, you’ll find a kindred spirit in Leah Davies. The friendly green bear, drawn by the author’s daughter, Joy Hallett, gives children a warm and fuzzy feeling of acceptance and trust.
The series covers feelings, behaviors, health, the environment and saying no to drugs, and it ends with an activity book that reinforces all of these concepts with fun creative activities. The series would also be an excellent vehicle for working with children in a counseling or school situation, as the questions Kelly Bear asks become a springboard for wonderful open discussions.”
You can find out more about this series of books and the author, Leah Davis here: http://www.kellybear.com/index.html
At the end of each book (and the books are short and simple and easy to get through) there is a parent/teacher page with suggestions about what to do after the book is read. This book on ‘Earth’ has various activities such as
- Joining a group that is interested in managing our resources and that includes children.
- Drawing pictures and writing letters to send to newspapers and legislators.
- Planting flower and vegetable seeds
- Making a compost bin to recycle plant material
- Go on a treasure hunt to identify various trees, animals and plants
This book brought back very fond memories. When our oldest son was only 3 years old, we took part in a riverside cleanup. I have pictures of this sweet little boy, dragging a huge plastic garbage bag as we all picked up trash that littered the riverbank. This type of activity encourages a young child to be more aware of protecting the environment. Just as importantly, doing things as a family strengthens the parent-child connection.
Let’s combine a craft activity for Easter with one for this book!
EASTER BEAR BAG
Photo courtesy http://www.allkidsnetwork.com
You know how much I love using paper bags for kid’s craft projects. Your child can use this bag for collecting jelly beans or Easter eggs.
You will need: 1 paper lunch bag, construction paper, glue, markers, scissors, yarn and a hole punch.
- Cut out eyes, ears, nose and bowtie from construction paper…this craft was made for Valentine’s Day originally so there are lots of hearts.
- Glue the pieces onto the front of the bag.
- Punch holes at the top of the bag and string the yarn through the holes and tie to make handles.
- Draw other features with the markers.
What other activities can you do as a family? Find hundreds of them in my book. No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination and a parent’s participation! Click this link to purchase a copy
Read the rest of the Perfect Picture Book Friday book reviews on Friday mornings here.
- Teaching the Meaning of Easter #Giveaway (mommyheadadventures.com)
- Mia: The Easter Egg Chase: Robin Farley (jkrbooks.typepad.com)
This sounds like a really cute book with an important message. I’ll have to check it out! And I like your Bear Bag! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks so much! The bear bag is cute…and you could make it into a bunny bag or dog bag 🙂 or any other kind of animal bag, just by changing the ears and facial features.:)
I love the cover and what the book teaches! I also LOVE your bag! I think it goes nice with your blog! 😉
Glad you liked it, Erik! Lots of parents think they have to spend a lot of money on Easter baskets…but paper bags that kids make themselves could work just as well…or even better.:)
We use baskets that belonged to relatives (I think…). 🙂
Oh Erik, that is quite special.:) Passing down treasured items helps bring us closer to those who came before us.
Fantastic for an earth day project or any other discussion on how we take care of Mother Earth. The follow up activity is simple and appealing. This could even be done in preschool.
So right, Marsha! Most of the crafts projects I suggest can be made by the very youngest child…years ago, when I did daycare, the entire group (ages 18 months to almost 5 years old) would sit down and take part in the art activity…how proud the littlest ones were to show their moms what they had made! It’s all about having fun…and encouraging kids to participate. 🙂
Great to begin teaching children at a young conservation ideas. This sounds like a fun book to do so. I nearly ran a similar book today, but decided to hold it. Cute activities.
Thanks, Pat! I connected with the author, Leah Davies, on Linkedin a while back and she kindly sent me several of the books in her series. I’ll be reviewing a few of the others in the upcoming months. I loved the conservation one because, as you say, it’s best to introduce kids, when they are very young, to the need for caring about our environment. Why not make conservation a habit with kids? 🙂
I’m on a ‘new’ conservation kick – so your pick is down on my list today too! Just watched a doc on chemicals in the house, and feel inspired to start making some of my own products. I was doing pretty good already, but I love finding something that stirs things up again! Great bag!
It’s so true, Julie…if each of us did just a little bit towards conserving resources and using less earth-harmful products…the world would be healthier. When I watch those PBS specials on the melting ice caps, I want to run out and shout to everyone…JUST STOP and THINK before you……That’s why I think it is really important to help young children understand the precious nature of the environment and that we each CAN make a difference.:) Good for you, Julie…there are so many great cleaning products you can make from just vinegar, baking soda and other natural (and CHEAP) ingredients. 🙂
Going to try and make my own laundry detergent!
Hope your experiment succeeds! 🙂
Now why didn’t I think of writing a book like this one.
And of course, Vivian, I also love the crafts you offer. Secretly, I still like to color in a coloring book. 🙂
That’s so funny, Tracy…so do I…I know we should try to encourage kids to express their creativity…and sometimes coloring books (where they ‘have’ to stay in the lines) might seem not to do that…but, on the other hand, learning to stay within the lines is great for fine motor coordination. And when I visit with my grandchildren, I do love to color with them.:) Glad you liked the little ‘Easter bag’.
It’s challenging to create stories like this without coming over as preachy and Kelly Bear sounds like such an endearing personality kids will want to learn from her. Very important topic for us all!
Thanks, Joanna! Kelly Bear is an endearing personality…and she shows how simple changes can make a difference for everyone.
I just had that refrigerator-door-open conversation with Cooper. Hmmm, perhaps I need to find this book. Thanks Vivian!
My kids weren’t as bad as my husband. 🙂 Our fridge has a beeping sound that goes off when either the fridge or freezer door is left open more than 20 seconds or so. I can’t tell you how often I hear ‘beep, beep, beep, beep’…he will take ice cream out of the freezer and bring it to the counter, get his bowl, scoop out what he wants…and all the time the ‘beep, beep, beep, beep’ is sounding. I love him dearly…but when they say that men are sometimes like little boys, they are right.:) I think it is a very lovely book series, Kirsten.
Darling bag! 😀
Kids love to make stuff…and simple is perfect for the little ones.:) Thanks, Nancy!
Oh My, I came across a Kelly Bear book in the library last week. This author has great ideas and makes it interesting for the kids. Just love your Easter Bag, so cute! Thank you Vivien for a very interesting post.
Oh…I’m so glad the Kelly Bear series is in some libraries…I think they are helpful books that address a variety of issues and concerns…and would give parents a perfect opportunity to talk with their kids.Glad you liked the bag…less is more.:)Happy Easter, Diane!
Sounds wonderful, Vivian. I will check at my library for the Kelly Bear series. What wonderful books for the classroom.
Love your Easter Bear Bag!
I think they would be great books for the classroom, Penny! Thanks for always stopping by.:)