Big Bear Fair


Children - Educational
32 Pages
Reviewed on 12/12/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Amy Raines for Readers' Favorite

Big Bear Fair by Grandma Krazy/Kathy Blomquist is a short story about a young boy watching bears of all shapes, sizes, and colors doing several things that are out of the ordinary. His mother seems to be uninterested and indifferent as he runs through the explanation of what each bear is doing or wearing until he points out that it is not one bear but many. What were all those bears doing that got the young boy’s attention? What will his mom do when she realizes that he is actually telling her what he sees? Will she be as intrigued and excited as the boy is?

I love how Big Bear Fair by Grandma Krazy/Kathy Blomquist is written in poetic verses that are easy for kids who are learning to read to understand using comprehension and context. The plot is fast-paced but fun as each one of the bears passes by the window while the young boy explains in detail what is going on. The illustrations are bright, colorful and full of life as they show exactly what each page of the story describes. The Big Bear Fair is the perfect book for early readers because some of the words Blomquist uses encourage kids to sound out syllables as they read along and enjoy the story. Don’t forget that this story supports the Wide Reading program with a short glossary of terms at the beginning that will help kids understand the meaning and pronunciation of the new words they will learn throughout the book.

Jack Magnus

Big Bear Fair is a children’s educational picture book written by Grandma Krazy a.k.a. Kathy Blomquist. His mom is fairly involved in whatever she’s reading on her laptop, but her son is growing increasingly astonished by the appearance of a seemingly endless number of bears outside their window. One bear is on a trapeze, while another is just sitting there enjoying the sunshine. There’s even a bear named Javier, who has a horse carrying dinnerware, and another one is sitting at a picnic table and playing solitaire. What’s going on? Where did all these bears come from and why are they out there? After a while, even his mother is confused by the oddly spectacular appearance of all those bears. Maybe it’s something good? They’ll have to go out and discover for themselves just what is going on.

Grandma Krazy’s engaging and whimsical Big Bear Fair introduces new words to young readers -- words that sound very similar to words they already know. The author is involved in the Wide Reading Program, which seeks to get children used to encountering new and strange words as they read, and she includes a short list of vocabulary words at the beginning of her book. The bears that appear throughout the story are marvelous and a joy to behold, and the mystery of their appearance will keep kids guessing even with the hint given by the title. I especially appreciated the air of excitement that surrounds the boy as he watches the goings-on outside their window in stark contrast to the mom’s quiet concentration on her laptop screen. How much do we miss going on outside our windows when we’re absorbed in watching our laptops, cell phones, and tablets? Big Bear Fair invites readers of all ages to consider what’s happening outside right now. It’s highly recommended.

Samantha Coville

Big Bear Fair by Grandma Krazy features a little boy looking out of a window. What does he find? All sorts of crazy bear antics! There are bears playing card games, bears selling goods, bears purchasing tuxedos, and even a bear named Javier. While our main character points out all these strange bears outside the window, the mother works away on her laptop, brushing off her son's exclamations. In the end, however, she finally takes notice and beholds: a bear fair is in town!

This is a fun, cooky little picture book for small children to enjoy. I especially loved that at the beginning of the book, the author, who goes by the pen name of Grandma Krazy, mentions that this book supports the Wide Reading Program and will include some unfamiliar words for readers to learn. I don't feel that many picture books do something like this, so it was a nice change of pace to see words like "debonair" and "solitaire". There are also definitions for all the new words. Big Bear Fair doesn't have any moral lessons or life lessons to teach young readers. This is simply one of those laidback and silly reads that don't get deep, and that's not a deal-breaker. The adorable art and unique storyline make up for it. Javier the Bear in his sombrero is the funniest thing I've seen in a picture book in ages. So if you're looking for a short and delightful read to maybe give to a child for their birthday or Christmas, this would be a perfect fit.

Bruce Arrington

Big Bear Fair, by Grandma Krazy/Kathy Blomquist, is a 32-page children’s book for kids from 4 to 8. A boy sees fantastic and strange things in his own backyard—various colored bears. They come out of nowhere, setting up what seems to be a sort of carnival. Some are by themselves while others are not, but all bewilder the boy, who is worried and tells his mother what he sees. The author uses rhymes throughout the story, helping to bring fresh meanings to the tale. Meanwhile, the mom is busy being an adult, paying no attention to the boy’s worries as she is hard at work on her laptop. Eventually, she starts paying attention and sees what he does but by now the boy isn’t so worried—in fact, he enjoys the sight: a bear fair!

I found the story to be cute and clever, full of imagination. The artwork is bright with color and filled with enough detail to keep the young reader’s interest while introducing new vocabulary at the same time. This is the type of story that children will not only love to read but likely memorize as well. Big Bear Fair, by Grandma Krazy/Kathy Blomquist, sets out to entertain the young reader with colorful bears as much fun as those seen in a circus, while helping them learn new vocabulary. I can imagine children wanting to go off and develop rhyming games and stories of their own, using their imaginations to create fun-filled adventures like this one. Recommended.

Leiann Lynn Rose Spontaneo

In Big Bear Fair by Grandma Krazy/Kathy Blomquist, the author supports the Wide Reading Program to expose children to unusual words to build their vocabulary and reading comprehension. Such words used range from the name Javier to the card name Solitaire. The book illustrates a woman sitting at her laptop while her son attempts to get her attention. He tells her over and over what he sees outside. However, she is deep in thought at her laptop and does not pay attention. He sees bear after bear outside the window. The little boy then asks his mother for an explanation of why those bears are out there, which finally gets her attention. Joining her son at the window, she exclaims that there seems to be no reason to despair and that the whole time she had been unaware of a Bear Fair. The book closes by asking what we would do if we had a Bear Fair near.

The plot of Big Bear Fair is so adorable. Details include a mother in deep thought doing something so that she does not even hear what her child is saying or asking. The child, in doing so, teaches readers new words that they may have never known how to pronounce or spell. The book flows from one rhyming phrase to the next. Rhyming examples are a bear in a chair with no hair, a bear named Javier carrying dinnerware and a rare bear playing solitaire. The book teaches through child-like imagination. The characters are believable, showing, for example, a typical day of a mom and her child full of questions. The theme of this book is children’s education through the use of rhyming vocabulary and is perfect for home and school libraries.