There’s something about bears, those cuddly wise friends that often have a special place in our childhoods. In our family, Jacob has always been particularly close to Beary-Bear, a big white stuffed sleepytime bear. So in Portland, we have two knit Beary-Bear cousins who live with us in between twin visits, one green (for Molly) and one white (for Jacob). Sometimes, they come out to play with our neighborhood friends, like Vivi and Paddington and one of our favorite pastimes is a tea-party.
So on “Have a Party With Your Bear Day” this year, we are recommending you celebrate with a tea party! We’ve chosen a few books to help you enjoy a tea party with your favorite bear.
We recommend this edition: Pooh Library original 4-volume set, but the single volume of the original Winnie the Pooh also is a great starting point, and makes a wonderful gift. There is simply no comparison between the original characters and the more recent Disney version. Children still love gloomy Eeyore, excitable Piglet, and of course, the adventures that Christopher Robin and Pooh share.
The Legend of the Teddy Bear by Frank Murphy, illustrated by Gisjbert van Frankenhuyzen
While lots of people know that the “original” Teddy Bear was named after President Theodore Roosevelt, the legendary story about Teddy Roosevelt’s refusal to shoot a bear that gave birth to a century of stuffed bear friends has been neglected and forgotten. This is the perfect book to explain how the teddy bear got his name. Its fascinating history as well as a charming and well-written text details the the story of the cartoon depiction that made Roosevelt’s unwillingness to shoot a cornered bear into a toy store phenomenon. The illustrations hit just the right tone, too. A great book for the whole family to enjoy!
Tea Party Rules by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by K. G. Campbell
This is the perfect book for Have a Party With Your Bear Day! A little cub wanders off from his mother’s sleeping side at the smell of cookies. He follows his nose and finds a little girl’s tea party, the table set, and in one of the chair’s her stuffed bear. The Cub decides to take this stuffed bear’s place at the table. Sounds promising for Cub, but unfortunately, the little girl finds her new companion “too grubby” for a tea party. Turns out there are lots of rules for tea parties that just don’t work for Cub: “Tea Party Rule: you must be neat”; “Tea Party Rule: You must eat daintily.” Luckily for all, the little girl does change the rules. The illustrations are lots of fun, and part of the charm of the story.
Tea Party Today: Poems to Sip and Savor by Eileen Spinelli, Illustrated by Karen Dugan
It’s never too early to introduce little ones to poetry, and this collection is perfect to add to the pleasure of your tea party. Short lines with lots of repetition help children appreciate the fun of rhythms and lilting phrases–and early readers can read the poems by themselves. Spinelli’s fine writing is a treat; she evokes wonderful memories of tea parties in a variety of settings. Another treat: Teatime Tips at the bottom of the pages. The illustrations are as inviting as the poems and memories. Enjoy!