Title: Nothing Can Frighten a Bear
Author: Elizabeth Dale
Illustrator: Paula Metcalf
Target Ages: 3-8
Genre: Picture Book Fiction
Daddy Bear insists that nothing can frighten a bear – but when there’s a noise in the night, Baby Bear isn’t convinced. The bears set out to make sure there aren’t any monsters but, as they vanish one by one, it looks like Daddy Bear might not be so brave after all!
Deep, deep in the woods, with the moon shining bright, some bears snuggled up in their beds for the night.
There was Mommy Bear, Daddy Bear…Grace, and then Ben…and Baby Bear, too, who lay dreaming but then…
When Baby Bear realizes the source of the roar (I won’t spoil it though).
In this up-side-down bear “hunting” narrative, the bears are the ones searching for the monster after Baby Bear is awoken by a loud noise. The story is full of suspense and nighttime adventure.
During the hunt, various family members get caught in the forest (in a tree, a stream, and some mud). Initially, Father Bear and Baby Bear are oblivious that the others have gone missing. When they finally realize it, they panic. For a moment, both wonder---Did the monster get them?
Out of the darkness appear not one, not two, but three fierce looking dark creatures. As they are about to flee, they hear the “monsters” say “Hey.”
Baby Bear realizes it is his mother and siblings! They are a mess because they got caught in forest brush. The family ventures back home—deep, deep in the woods—to go back to sleep.
A roar awakens baby Bear again. He is certain it is a monster. His family—who are still awake—know the source though…and it is not a monster.
Nothing Can Frighten a Bear is an amusing bedtime story that assures children what they hear go “bump” in the night is not a monster or any other scary creature. It is the imagination rather than real danger that frightens us. With some gentle encouragement from this storybook, young “bears” learn to be “brave as can be.”
Activities and Extension Ideas for Lesson Plans:
- Nighttime Walk: Go on a dusk or night walk together to observe what comes out during that time. Investigate the noises and discover their origins.
- Fears: Use the book to discuss and dispel nighttime fears.
- Science: Learn more about bears and their habits.
- Math: As each bear gets caught in the forest, explain it as a math problem. There were 5 bears and 1 is caught in the forest. How many are left? Count them together.
- Literature: Compare and contrast the story with other bear hunt stories like We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.