Beware, Beware of the Big Bad Bear is a retelling of a traditional Appalachian folktale and what a retelling it is! Maw Maw would like to make some biscuits but she is out of baking soda. Each member of the family goes out to the store to get the baking soda, and despite the warning to “Beware, beware of the big bad bear!” everyone gets eaten — well, except for one. Fortunately, they’re clever and are able to save the day.
My four-year-old son and I LOVE this book! It is so much fun and we have a great time reading it every single time. My father brought this autographed book out to us about a year ago and we’ve read it so many times I’ve lost count. You cannot even say the word “beware” without someone in this house then saying, “of the big bad bear.” (Except you can’t just say it normally, you have to use a super-ominous tone.)
While the book never says that it takes place in a Louisiana swamp, the illustrations are so authentic that when you open the book you can feel humidity and hear the insects, frogs, and the sound of an airboat in the distance. I spent a great deal of my childhood fishing with my father and tromping around in the marshes and swamps of Louisiana and this book feels like home. (Several of my class field trips involved airboat rides. It was awesome!)
The big bad bear is, fortunately, illustrated in a mock-scary way. It’s a little scary for my son that the bear eats the people — but the bear is done in such a way that neither him eating the people nor his demise causes any real distress. There’s enough suspense to keep him on the edge of his seat (even after we’ve read it 100 times), but it is only fun for us. Mainly this book results in a fit of giggles for all involved.
At the end of the book is a recipe for Maw Maw’s biscuits. My son loves to cook and he begged for us to make the biscuits. The recipe is easy enough for a four-year-old to do. My husband declared that they were some of the best biscuits he’s ever had. I’ll second that.
This book is near and dear to my family’s heart. I do hope you get a chance to read it with yours and make those amazing biscuits!
Ages 3 – 8. Pelican Publishing. September 2012. 32 pages. ISBN: 978-1455616909. Fiction.
Where to Get it:
You Should Read Beware, Beware of the Big Bad Bear because:
- It is so much fun to say, “Beware, Beware of the Big Bad Bear!” in a mockingly-ominous voice with your children.
- It’s the perfect level of scary — slightly thrilling with a dose of giggles.
- Sody sallyratus is a lot of fun to say, too — especially in your best southern/cajun accent.
- When the bear eats the people you can stop and pretend to eat your children. Which, of course, induces more laughing and giggles.
- There’s a great deal of repetition in it — with “big bad bear” written in large letters. When I stop and point to the words, my son enjoys reading them in his best mock-ominous tone. It makes read so darn easy.
- You don’t really read this book with you children — you perform it.
- “Lickety-split” is fun to say and you get to say it often.
- The biscuits are really, really, really tasty. They’re also easy to make and it’s a lot of fun after reading the book.
- It’s a great experience to have with your kids.
- Dianne de Las Casas
- Marita Gentry
- Picture Book Month was founded by Dianne de Las Casas, who is the author of Beware, Beware of the Big Bad Bear! The Picture Book Month website has an immense amount of information, activities, essays by picture book authors, resources, and… and… and… it’s a lot. It’s wonderful!
More Reviews of this Book:
- Are there more? I’d love to read them!
Where Obtained: I received a review copy from MY DAD. He bought a copy in New Orleans and brought it out when he came for a visit. No compensation was received and I am not affiliated with either the creators or publisher of this book. I am reviewing this book because I can. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”