Friday, November 24, 2017

PBT Redux #14 – Brown Bear’s Wonderful Secret

Because we are approaching the Christian season of Advent, I reached back into the PBT archives to feature again a fabulous secular book that connects with anticipating the birth of Jesus or any new life in your faith community. Children across religious traditions and contexts will love this story of joyful expectation! But shhh! Like most birth narratives, this story begins as a secret.
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 and she has a babe in her arms. Brown Bear’s friends agree, it certainly was a most wonderful secret!  
Hanna’s Comments: This is a perfect book for 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. Expecting the birth of a new member is a delightful aspect of being a part of a loving faith family. 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
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: The birth narratives of Hannah (1 Samuel 1 & 2), Elizabeth (Luke 1), or Mary (Luke 1 & 2).  
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to a group of children who are anticipating the Christ child during Advent or a new member of your faith community any time of the year.