Title: Over, Bear! Under, Where?
Author: Julie Hedlund
Illustrator: Michael Slack
Publisher: Philomel Books, 2021
Format/Genre: narrative nonfiction
Themes: wordplay, puns, compound words, fun, friendship
Over and Under are two friends, and they’re enjoying a day at the park. They go on the swings (Over goes over Under) and the seesaw (Under is under Over). They meet a hot-dog dog (who joins them for a hot dog). And then they spot . . . a bear! (Unbearable!) But is he really the overall scary creature they first understand him to be?
In this hilariously punny story that will have readers laughing out loud as they pick apart the wordplay, a pair of pals overcome their fears as they discover that friendship underpins all.
Why I like this book:
Too punny for words!! ha ha! Super sparse text with a simple tale about not judging others and friendship, and hilarious wordplay to present compound words to kids in the best way possible, through a cute whimsical story about a mole, a bird, a dachshund and a bear!
With tinies, you could read this at face value and they will love it, especially the repetition of over and under. With school-age youngsters, they will have so much fun recognizing compound words they know, and learning new ones. Of course, all the expressive illustrations add to the humor of the text.
Not only a great read-aloud with a sweet message, but also an excellent mentor text for ELA classes.
The book includes an author note in the back matter with a list of compound words and definitions, to find in the text. Classroom and reading teachers will be sure to reach for Over, Bear! Under, Where? I personally, would even use it in middle school. 😉
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.