Polar Bears

by Vicky on December 13, 2010

I was planning a story-time featuring polar bears, and had already settled on which books to use when someone put this book, Cold Paws, Warm Heart, by Madeleine Floyd, on my desk.

I was quickly flipping through it, when it opened to an image of a large polar bear playing a silver flute!  We had already made polar bear masks with my Page Presents class, so this became the featured book for my Movement & Music class for toddlers when I discovered that I could play my flute under the mask.

Last week I repeated the program for a mothers’ group that had requested a special story-time for their kids.  Only three kids and their moms showed up, and none of the kids were happy to be there.  One boy started repeating, “I want to go home!”  When none of them wanted to play the chimes, I knew I was doomed, because kids ALWAYS want to play the chimes.

But I tried my best to carry on with the story-time, and began reading Cold Paws.  The last thing I saw before donning the polar bear mask was the grumpy kids clinging to their mothers.  Behind the mask, I couldn’t really see anything, and I just concentrated on playing the sad little tune of the lonely bear.  But, oh my!

When I pushed the mask up off my face, I was surrounded at close range by a ring of about 8 kids.  And they were all leaning forward!

Like the cold bear in the story, I finally felt completely warm inside.

A great book to pair with Cold Paws, Warm Heart is No Bath for Boris, by Diana White.  It is—may I say— the polar opposite.  While the bear in Cold Paws is cold and wants to be warm, Boris and his Mama love the cold.  The faucets on the bathtub are marked, “Cold” and “Colder,” and Mama throws in some ice cubes and opens the window so the cold air can blow in.  She tells Boris to get out of the tub before the water gets warm, and hands him some towels fresh from the fridge.  Delicious!  And the illustrations in pale polar colors perfectly capture the comfort and playfulness between the wayward little bear and his mama.

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