Rhyming quatrains combine with an energy-filled rap to capture a bear’s journey of self-discovery.
Birdsong has woken the little brown bear up for so long that he knows all the words. But when he tries singing them, his voice is “strong, / but it wasn’t exactly / a bird sort of song.” In fact, his voice makes the birds fly away. When an owl flutters down to give advice, the bear jumps to the wrong conclusions. The owl points out that birds fly. Instead of understanding that birds and bears are different, the bear thinks learning to fly will help him sing—but, of course, he just falls to the ground. The owl explains that birds have beaks, so the bear creates a paper beak—but that does nothing for his singing. When the owl finally suggests there are plenty of things the bear can do, the enthusiastic ursine discovers his own song, a rap. “I can…swim, I can catch. / I can sniff, I can scratch….” As his audience grows, his rap builds in enthusiasm and self-realization until the exhausted bear remembers something else he loves to do—sleep. Simple illustrations in bold crayon colors against a neutral background make this book a good storytime selection, though it will take some practice to perfect the meter and transitions in and out of the rap segment.
Readers will appreciate learning that there’s more than one way to sing a song. (Picture book. 3-6)