Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review of The Megasaurus, a Lima Bear book

The Megasaurus is the first book in a series of picture books about a little group of bears who are the same size and shape as beans. It's know as "The Lima Bear Series," based on stories that Thomas Weck used to tell his children. Father and son teamed up to bring these stories to life for all children.

I was a little apprehensive about sharing the books in my classroom. The stories are a little long for my 3 year-olds, but some of the 4's and most of the 5's were able to sit through it without a problem. The books are actually recommended for the 4-8 year-old range. I didn't need to worry, because the kids loved them.

In The Megasaurus, the little kingdom of Beandom is in trouble. A monster, known as a Megasaurus, loved to eat beans and was heading their way! The king wants to know what to do, so he calls upon his trusted advisors. Each one of them comes up with a plan, only to have little L. Joe Bean, a servant's son, tell them that their plan isn't going to work. He has an even better plan, if only the kind would listen to him. The wise owls laugh at little L. Joe Bean, but King Limalot hears what he has to say. After the three owls' plans fail, the king decides to give L. Joe Bean's plan a chance. To everyone's relief, it works and the Megasaurus is gone forever.

I was a little worried that the prospect of a monster coming to eat the little bears would scare some of the children. Instead, they were impressed by the dinosaur-like creature. If they were scared at all, it didn't last long. The Montessorian in me had a hard time with tactics like shooting the monster with arrows, but I quickly got over that.

The story has a good message to it - don't discount the little guy, because he may have something valuable to say. Kids can feel empowered by the little bean characters. The goal of the Lima Bear Press is to bring positive messages to children through their stories. I think the Wecks are able to accomplish this.

The back of the book has activities for parents and teachers to do with children after reading the story. There are discussion questions, as well as art projects, a math lesson and a phonics activity. This provides a good springboard for even more learning from the story. It's worth a read. My students requested it over and over again.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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