book review, Something To Do

Big Books about Big Bears (A Bear-y Good Bear Booklist for Kids!)

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**A huge THANK YOU to the Ortners and Jane Yolen for their partnership on these reviews**

Last week, as I sat at my desk and observed the ever-growing pile of books to be reviewed, I noticed something.

I noticed something BIG.

The word “BIG” in fact on a handful of the beautiful children’s picture books within my reach. SO, I had a BIG thought and decided to do a booklist review of Big Books about Big Bears. The result was a “bear-y” good booklist for kids! Enjoy.

A Bear-y Good Bear Booklist

A Bear Sat on my Porch Today by Jane Yolen

What to do if a rather insistent bear squats on your porch today? Followed in short order by a shaggy squirrel, a spraying skunk, a playful possum, and a bevy of forest critters large and small? This hilarious cumulative tale of reluctant hospitality and generous inclusivity will leave readers chanting, “OKAY. OKAY! YOU CAN STAY.” But watch out! That porch is starting to sway. . .

Jane Yolen’s uproarious chant-aloud story is brought to life by Rilla Alexander’s dazzling retro-hip illustrations in an exuberant collaboration sure to take its place alongside such cumulative classics as This is the House that Jack Built and There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.

Gorilla Thumps and Bear Hugs: A Tapping Solution Children’s Story by Alex Ortner

Annabel dreams of one day being a scientist, but teasing from other kids at school has hurt her confidence and left her feeling sad and alone. Join her as she learns how to use the Magical Tapping Technique to quickly release her sadness and regain her confidence. Through the book, you’ll learn about the scientifically proven technique commonly known as “Tapping” and how you can use it for both yourself and your child to overcome stress, anxiety, negative emotions, and much more. Your child will love the fun descriptions and illustrations for each point, such as the Super Eagle Eye Point, Lion Cry Point, Dragon Fire Point, Wolf Point, and more. Your child will be having a blast as they howl, hug, thump on their chest, act like a monkey, and more . . . all while learning how they can use Tapping to help themselves in real life!

According to a recent study by the American Psychological Association, almost one-third of kids suffer from stress that manifests physically in the form of headaches, stomach aches, and more. Tapping is the most powerful and effective technique available for helping our children (and us as parents) to release and overcome the everyday stressors of life.

Tapping, otherwise known as EFT, for Emotional Freedom Techniques, is a combination of Ancient Chinese Acupressure and Modern Psychology. You can read the full details of this unique process on I learned of this wonderful option for parents after I received two delightful books; one written by Nick Ortner and one by Alex Ortner; founders of The Tapping Solution.

The Big Book of HUGS; A Barkley the Bear Story by Nick Ortner and Alison Taylor

Barkley the Bear is now ready to continue his family’s business, which involves taking care of everyone in the forest. What a job! Barkley worries that he will not be able to provide the care necessary for everyone, but he soon finds out how easy it is to help others, and how much you can get in return. New York Times best-selling author Nick Ortner, along with Alison Taylor, take you on a memorable journey of what’s most important in life: Kindness, hugs, and a little bit of work.


Something To Do

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a bear on YOUR porch? Author Jane Yolen has created a free and downloadable activity pack for young readers to enjoy HERE.

bear activity guide

Have you tried Tapping as a way to calm nerves and relieve stress? One in five kids struggle with anxiety related issues at school. Tapping may be the solution you are searching for.


The Bear Facts!

Did you know that when a bear ‘hibernates’ it is really in a deep sleep?  It’s body temperature drops but not drastically and it does not wake up…not even to go to the bathroom or get some food.  The one exception is that a mother bear will wake up to give birth to her cubs in January or February.

facts about bears

Did you know that bears are omnivores just like people?  They will hunt animals such as baby deer, caribou, and elk but they are also scavengers, which means that they like leftovers and are happy to eat carrion. Carrion is the decaying flesh of an animal that was killed and left behind by other predators or an animal which died of natural causes.

Get more “bear facts” by grade at and learn more about this fascinating mammal.