Little Bear and the Marco Polo (I Can Read! Book 1) By Else Holmelund Minarik

Little Bear and the Marco Polo (I Can Read! Book 1)
Else Holmelund Minarik
HarperCollins (2010)
ISBN 9780060854874
Reviewed by Madison Schlarman (age 4) and Mom for Reader Views (07/10)

Little Bear is called to the attic to help Grandfather Bear clean up. Once he arrives he finds all sorts of treasures in an old trunk. Among the treasures are Grandmother Bear’s wedding dress, photos, trinkets and Grandfather Bear’s captain jacket and hat! Little Bear wants to know about Grandfathers boat, the Marco Polo, and all the adventures he has taken. As Grandfather’s story unfolds you will meet different species of bears and learn where they live. The reader also gets to visit the Marco Polo with Little Bear. It’s an adventure you won’t forget.

Here is what Madison had to say:

“Little Bear was outside. He found a ladybug. Grandma Bear told him to come inside. He had to help Grandfather Bear. He opened the window because they were sneezing and his lady bug flew away. They opened a treasure box and found a pretty dress and a captain thing. He found a picture of a boat that went to the North Pole. They found a polar bear; then they went to China. They found a giant panda bear. They saw other bears. They went to see the sunken boat. They played. Little Bear said he was going to be their captain. Grandma was wearing the wedding dress. It didn’t fit; it only fit when she was little. They danced.”

“It was kinda weird. It was kinda boring. It makes me sleepy. I like it. “

Mom’s say:

This is a classic Little Bear story. I did feel it was rather long with so few pictures for a beginning 1 reading book. It was much longer than any of the other beginning 1 reading books that we have from “I Can Read.” Madison enjoyed the story being read to her, but when it came time for review she was having a hard time remembering what happened. We had to read and spend more time on this book to get her to recall the events. From her comments above, they weren’t all recalled quite accurately. The boat was not sunken, but dry docked. She failed to remember the Australian Koala Bear. She keeps calling the trunk a treasure box which is cute, but not completely accurate. I gave the book three stars because it is a cute tale and Madison asked to read the book. I just didn’t agree with the reading level due to length and pictures along with the degree of difficulty. There was lots of conversation in this book which can be overwhelming for any reader, especially a beginner. Overall, you will enjoy the time reading “Little Bear and the Marco Polo” with your child, it is just not a book you should expect them to be telling you the story quickly.

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