There are two reasons I love “Bear Flies High”: first of all, it’s a gorgeous vision of summertime, with beach, ocean, seagulls, carnival rides, sunshine. and fun with friends. Secondly, as a music teacher, I love the lilting, rhythmic writing (which was also a feature of Rosen’s earlier book, “Bear’s Day Out”). The singsongy rhythm of the story, I’m convinced, is one reason it consistently holds the attention of young children, from two-year-olds through kindergar- teners.
I like to make up a tune for the mini-poems that appear on each two-page spread, such as “Doo- bee-doo, doo-bee-doo, doo-bee-doobily-doo.” But it would work just as well as a chant. Whether you choose to chant or sing, though, be sure to invite your students to join in. They enjoy it and it keeps them involved in the story.
The illustrations are also charming – artistic and colorful, but not too fussy or complicated -so children won’t need to ask what’s going on.
After you read “Bear Flies High,” you’ll find that your students are eager to talk about their own adventures at the beach or at carnivals. So not only is the story a terrific, fun experience of language and rhythm in itself, it also leads to fun conversations!