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The Snowbear

Sean Taylor, Claire Alexander (illus)
Words and Pictures
Age 3-5

One day Iggy and Martina wake up to find the whole world is white. Their mum says they can make a snowman and they are pleased with their creation – although they agree it looks much more like a snowbear than a snowman. When they have finished they sledge down the hill despite mum’s warnings about being careful and travel so fast they go straight into the woods. They feel worried and want to go home but can’t pull the sledge back up the hill.  Suddenly they see a very scary wolf staring at them. But then help arrives in the shape of the snowbear! The wolf slopes off and the snowbear carries the two children safely home. In the morning the snowbear has disappeared. Has he melted or gone to live in the woods?

This is a beautifully illustrated picturebook with a story to capture the imagination on snowy days. What if the creatures you make from snow could come alive? Would you have adventures with them as in Raymond Briggs’ The Snowman or might they come to your rescue as in this lovely story?


Share the story

Read aloud
Before beginning the book look at the cover and the first illustration together. What can you both see, what might happen in this story? Read the story aloud pausing if your child wants to talk about the story or illustrations.

Read again
When you read it again maybe you could both emphasise the cold words like ‘shivering’. Children could follow the path of the sledge down the hill and join in with parts they remember.

Talk about the story

  • Talk about your favourite parts of the story and look at those again together. Was there anything your child didn’t like or wanted to skip over quickly?

  • Talk about what it feels like to be very cold, does your skin tingle? How do your fingers and toes feel? What would you wear if it was very cold?

  • Talk about whether your child thinks the bear did go away to live in the woods.

  • If there was enough snow what would your child like to build, a snowman, a snowbear or something else?

Things to make and do

If there’s snow outside you could play in the snow, make a snow sculpture, or try sledging on a slope – hopefully not too steep! If not there are lots of other things you can do linked to the story:

Move like a snowbear
Try ‘lolloping’ around like snow bears.

Make a snowy picture
The end of a pencil dipped in thick white paint would make great snowflakes printed on coloured paper.

Make a snow globe
Look back at the illustration of Iggy and Martina’s bedroom at the beginning of the book. There is a snow globe on the window sill.

Make a storybook
Make a zig-zag story book together. With a picture on each page tell the bear’s story from being built, then saving the children to what happens after the story ends. Your child can draw the pictures and you could help with writing your child’s story.

Find out more

Read more books by Sean Taylor 

Titles include: A Brave Bear, I am actually a Penguin and I want to be in a Scary Story

 Find out more about illustrator Claire Alexander

Read more books about having fun with snow eg Snow by Sam Usher or The Snowman by Raymond Briggs or The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.