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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Lima Bear Stories: The Labyrinth, The Megasaurus, & The Cave Monster

You may remember how much I loved Bully Bean, the newest of the Lima Bear Series during last Children's Book week. Well, I have a little more loveable Lima goodness, and I couldn't be happier. Links below to buy for the upcoming holiday season! 

We begin with The Labyrinth. Good King Limalot Bear names his lovely young daughter, Belinda Bean, as queen of the land. Everyone was thrilled except for the jealous Mean ol' Bean. He tries to sabotage Belinda by luring her into a labyrinth to see a beautiful garden only to leave her trapped in the maze. However, Mean ol' Bean's cousin, L. Joe Bean, finds out in enough time to rescue Belinda and trick Mean into getting lost in the labyrinth himself. Being mean to others gets you nowhere. 

The Megasaurus brings us back to King Limalot and his land, only this time there is a MEGASAURUS on the loose--and he loooooves beans! He consulted with his wise counsel (of owls, of course), but every plan they concocted only made the Megasaurus more angry and determined to eat the beans. Finally, King Limalot summoned L. Joe Bean, who came up with the brilliant idea to scare away the Megasaurus--that worked! Sometimes you should listen to what everyone has to say--the best ideas may be where you least expect them.

The Cave Monster has captured L. Joe Bean and is holding him hostage in his deep, dark cave. Lima Bear and his friends hatch a plan to save him, but they don't expect the Cave Monster to fight back. Only with bravery and valor can they save Joe in time. When friends work together they are stronger than when they work alone--teamwork is everything. 

These books are not just fun--they also carry strong messages with them. I have said time and time again that my preference in children's books are those that have great illustrations, fun stories, and strong messages (or morals of the story) that are not so in-your-face. This is what I love about the Lima Bear series--they really hit this trifecta of goodness in children's lit. I love hitting kids with a message that is embedded in the story. The importance of friendship, teamwork, and not being afraid to take on something big and scary are all great messages for kids in early grades. Be brave! Be strong! Be a good friend!

My favorite part of these books is that they have a section for parents in the back with suggestions for extending the book. For example, in The Megasaurus, one of the suggested activities is for caregivers to make monster masks with their small readers and to discuss things that frighten them. I also love the vocabulary of the books and that the Werk's do not shy away from using big words such as "labyrinth" or "megasaurus" (while still providing a glossary in the back for full definitions). 

I also love the idea of the "beans" being characters--L. Joe Bean is a pinto, Lima Bear is a lima bean, etc. The illustrations of big, bold, and colorful, and I am so excited to have these on my shelf. These books put a big smile on my face and make me so happy. They are worth a purchase for your own shelves.

For your small reader:

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