Picture Book: Brown Bear’s Wonderful Secret
Author: Caroline Castle
Illustrator: Tina Macnaughton
Summary: Brown Bear’s wonderful secret is that she’s going to have a baby, but this is not revealed until the end of the book. As she begins to tell her animal friends about her secret, they interrupt her with guesses about the secret’s characteristics. The conversation takes riddle form: She wouldn’t want to eat it, but she might lick it. It doesn’t fly, but she might throw it up in the air and catch it. The animal friends are not able to solve the puzzle before Brown Bear must hibernate. The wonderful secret is revealed to them when spring comes. They agree, it certainly is a wonderful secret!
Hanna’s Comments: I chose this book for the first day of Advent, a Christian liturgical season that gets overwhelmed by the pre-Christmas madness. Advent, like this story, encapsulates the anticipation and joy of waiting on a new birth. Like Brown Bear, I hope you are able to anticipate and fully experience the joys of your winter holidays and any new births coming your way.
Publisher & Date of Publication: Scholastic, 2006
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 3 and up, Pre and up
# of Pages: 32
Available in Spanish? Not at present
Formats other than Book: None at present
PBT Category: Post 2K
PBT Topics this Book Connects with: affection, babies/children, birth/birthday, community, friends/friendship, joy, mothers, parents/parental love, secrets, surprise, waiting,
Scripture Connections: The birth narratives of Hannah (1 Samuel 1 & 2), Elizabeth (Luke 1), or Mary (Luke 1 & 2).
Idea(s) for Application: Anticipating the birth of a new member is a delightful aspect of being a part of a loving faith family. This kind of joyful expectation and hopeful longing are two of the central themes of the liturgical season of Advent in the Christian church. Read this book to a group of children who are anticipating the Christ child or a new member of your faith community.