The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

December 4, 2012

Jeana Gockley: Bizzy Bear series clearly the best board books

JOPLIN, Mo. — Before having a little one of my own, I didn't know a lot about board books, and I didn't spend a lot of time reading or looking through them.

I ordered them for the library and I would, almost on a daily basis, recommend them to new parents. And I'd explain to said new parents that this type of book was durable, easy to wipe off and, thanks to its size, good for small hands to manipulate. But I did not put a lot of thought into what was actually happening story-wise or illustration-wise inside the books.

However, after many hours of reading board books with my little one, I have discovered that not all board books are created equal. Some are heads above the competition. Tops on my current favorites list is the "Bizzy Bear" series from Nosy Crow Publishing.

Currently, there are four Bizzy Bear titles available: "Let's Go and Play!", "Let's Get to Work!", "Fun on the Farm" and "Off We Go!" The library owns multiple copies of each title, so I have been fortunate to read all the books numerous times.

My little one's favorite is "Off We Go," but they are all wonderfully creative. In "Off We Go," Bizzy Bear employees use various modes of transportation and on the final page end up relaxing aboard a sailboat.

While the story in each book is clever and the illustrations are bright, engaging and depict things that children can relate to their own lives, the best parts of the books are the movable elements -- pull-out tabs, sliders and a fancy roundabout that features a turnable wheel in "Off We Go" -- and the heavy-duty construction of the pages.

I have no idea how the books are constructed to be so sturdy, but I can attest to the fact that they will stand up to heavy abuse. Trust me, my little one loves Bizzy Bear -- so much so that all I have to do is start reciting Bizzy Bear, with or without the book, and crazy-fast crawling to my lap ensues -- and is not gentle when "reading" the stories alone.

Fans will be happy to know that there are two more titles that feature Bizzy Bear: "Pirate Adventure" and "Fire Rescue," due out in January 2013. You can bet the library will get multiple copies of both titles, but because of their popularity, you might want to place a hold on them soon.

I cannot say enough great things about Bizzy Bear. He is akin to a rock star in my house.

I owe a big thank you to Betsy Bird, fellow librarian and big-time school library journal blogger, for my introduction to Bizzy Bear. Her blog, where she offers a full review of one of the Bizzy Bear titles and other board books, can be found at blog.schoollibrary journal.com/afuse8 production.

 

Jeana Gockley is the children's librarian at Joplin Public Library.

1
Text Only
Globe Life
  • 041314_cj glass1.jpg Carl Junction students create projects, win awards at national contest with glass arts

    The students are part of a new glass arts class at Carl Junction High School taught by Jessica Sellars, a graduate of the school who earned her bachelor's degree from Missouri Southern State University and her masters of art education from Pittsburg State University. The art teacher taught for 20 years at Coronado High School, located in Henderson, Nev.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • ryan richardson Ryan Richardson: K-9 unit receives protection from donors

    I know I write a lot about pet advocacy in this column, but for a moment, I want to write about pet heroes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 091108-Frankie-Meyer_c.jpg Frankie Meyer: Website helps locate library microfilms

    Family history researchers must be determined sleuths to learn about some ancestors who don't show up in easily-obtained records. This week, I learned about a free resource that will help in the search of elusive ancestors.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • images_sizedimage_032123610 Patty Crane: Reporter's mea culpa found in identity theft

    As I was browsing the library's list of new materials for March, "True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa" by Michael Finkel caught my attention.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 091108-Frankie-Meyer_c.jpg Frankie Meyer Website helps locate library microfilms

    Family history researchers must be determined sleuths to learn about some ancestors who don't show up in easily-obtained records. This week, I learned about a free resource that will help in the search of elusive ancestors.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • images_sizedimage_312124454 Linda Cannon: Gardening book helps plan for spring

    In springtime, many of us think of gardening, so, come snow or sleet or whatever, it's time to get into those gardening books and see what improvements can be made to our yards (or decks or patios if that's all you have).

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • ryan richardson Ryan Richardson: Pet deposits legal in Missouri, vary by state

    Building upon last week's column about what goes into moving and renting with pets, I wanted to touch on something that I wasn't too sure a lot of people were familiar with. I had a few people ask me about the legalities of a pet deposit and how it applies to residents in Missouri.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 091108-Frankie-Meyer_c.jpg Frankie Meyer: Website allows access to news archives

    Between 1982 and 2011, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress worked together to develop a program called "Chronicling America." Each year, NEH gave monetary awards to institutions in various states to digitize 100,000 pages of old newspapers that relate to each state's history.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 040214 LIFE barbershop2_c.jpg Barbershop choirs grow in popularity thanks to singing TV shows, pop culture

    Singers call it the "angel's voice." The phenomenon occurs when a group of singers reach an identical chord, voices blended together as one, the harmonics justly tuned and balanced, creating a new frequency of sound that can "literally raise up the hair on the arm," said Don Snow.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 091108-Frankie-Meyer_c.jpg Frankie Meyer: Berries were big business in Southwest Missouri history

    Recently, I noticed some blooms on my strawberry plants on the patio, and I was reminded of my youth in the Ozarks when children often earned money by picking strawberries in the fields of local farmers. I, along with my sisters, brother and all the other children in the area, looked forward to the experience each summer.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo