Destined to become a contemporary classic, this book has spare text and sweet illustrations but contains only five words: apple, pear, orange, bear—and there. Emily Gravett creates clever variations on this theme by rearranging the words—on one spread, a brown bear juggles an orange, apple, and pear; on another spread, there is an orange-colored apple and a pear-shaped bear. Simple and compelling, children will enjoy reading this book over and over again as they learn many different concepts.
The illustrations are gorgeous and the text is clever in its minimalism (there are only five words in the whole book, repeated in various orders for different meanings). My favorite thing about this book, though, is how useful it has been for my pre-schooler who is learning to read! When we love a book and read it often, she typically memorizes the words quickly and thereafter doesn’t get much practice reading a page word by word. With this book, she knew all the words after just one or two readings, but had to actually read the words on each page to make sure she said them in the right order. It has been a great addition to our home collection, and It’s fun to think about how much you can do with a little text and a creative approach.
The illustrations are gorgeous and add so much to this book only containing 5 words (orange, pear, apple, bear, there). I know some people absolutely love this book, and I can see the appeal, but it just honestly doesn’t do much for me.
Emily Gravett was born in Brighton, England, the second daughter of a printmaker and an art teacher. She left school at 16 and travelled the UK for eight years, living in a big green bus with her partner and their daughter. After returning to Brighton to take up an art degree, Emily sprang into the limelight with the ground-breaking Wolves in 2005, which won her the Macmillan Prize for Illustration, followed by a book deal and the first of her Kate Greenaway Medals. Wolves was followed by such brilliant modern classics as Orange Pear Apple Bear, Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears, Again! and the exquisite Tidy. Each book is unique and different from the last – and each features endearing, beautifully drawn characters that touch the heart and tickle the funny bone. Emily now lives in Brighton with her family. When not working in her studio, she might be found walking the dog, watering the tomatoes or driving the family’s restored 1960s bus.