Little Kids’ Book Club #12:”The Bear’s Song”

#12 The Bear's Song final image

Drawing courtesy of Hope Svarre Johnson.

You’ll never tire of reading “The Bear’s Song” aloud over and over again! Little Kids' Book Club #12 is focused on DISCOVERY and FUN. Share our list of prompts with your children for playful learning in this imaginative hide-n-seek tour through the Paris Opera House.

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The Story

Papa Bear wakes up startled from his winter slumber, to find that Little Bear has wondered off chasing a honeybee. Papa Bear’s search for his son takes him out of the woods...into the city...and throughout the Paris Opera House. Although the text is limited, Benjamin Chaud, both author and illustrator, has every page brimming with surprises; a delightful way to tour this elaborate theater without using many words.

"The Bear’s Song" is a visual symphony that ends on a sweet note. Papa Bear finds Little Bear on the opera house rooftop, where they dine on honey filled beehives under a star speckled Parisian sky.

"The Bear's Song" picture book

         Find this book in your SCHOOL or LIBRARY or order online here!

Read and Explore

Fun Facts:

  • IT’S TRUE ! Beekeeper and “Prop Man," Jean Paucton, brought the first 5 beehives  to the Paris Opera House roof top in the mid 1980s. Production has grown over the years and now tiny jars of honey are sold in the Opera House gift shop.
#12 Honey sold at Paris Opera House
  • If you're not up for an opera you can still book a tour of the elaborate Paris Opera House, also referred to as the Palais Garnier, named after the architect Charles Garnier.
#12 The Paris Opera House, Grand Foyer


  • Introduce your child to “Flight of the Bumblebee,” a musical composition written for the opera, “The Tale of the Tsar Saltan.” The instruments sound like they are buzzing.

Ask your child:

  • What clue on the cover suggests this story takes place in Paris, France? (Open up the book jacket and find the Eiffel Tower, the tallest structure in all of Paris. The Eiffel Tower also appears in the background on the last page.)
  • What is an opera? (A theater performance set to live music where the actors and actresses sing vs. speak the narrative.)
  • Papa Bear thinks he sees Little Bear in the busy city, but instead it’s a child wearing a bear hat with bear ears. What else may fool Papa Bear at first glance; another hat or perhaps a fuzzy backpack? There are surprises to be found on EVERY PAGE!

Pages 1+ 2

  • Why are some trees green while others have no leaves? (Some trees lose their leaves in the winter, while evergreen trees do not.)

Pages 3 + 4

  • Can you find the two lumberjacks up in a tree? One boot is on the ground. Where is the other one? What happened? (We’re not telling! Have fun finding the other boot and making up your own narrative)

Pages 5 + 6

  • What time of day is it? (It’s night time, evidenced by the street lights and car lights.)
  • You can see a man hammering through one of the windows. Perhaps he is hanging something on the wall? Draw a picture of what you think it is. Email us your drawing and we’ll publish your art in a future post.

Pages 7 + 8 

  • Count the number of columns in front of the building? (4)

Pages 9 + 10 

  • In a theater like the Paris Opera House, where do the stairs lead to? (More seats on upper levels and balconies to watch the performance from.)

Pages 11 + 12 

  • Papa Bear “snuffles his snout” through a backstage door. Say “snuffles his snout” 5 times as fast as you can!
  • What do you see in the different rooms backstage? (Seamstress sewing costumes, dressing room, props for different scenes, lighting, make-up, dance practice, rigging to lift and lower things…)

Pages 13 + 14 

  • What is in the conductor’s hand? ( A conductor lets the musicians in the orchestra know how and when to play their music by moving his baton. It’s like a secret code.)

Pages 15 + 16 

  • What is red on either side of Papa Bear standing on the stage? (Curtains that open and close in between acts and set changes.)

Pages 17 + 18 

  • What makes Papa Bear LOOK scary, even though he is lovingly trying to sing a lullaby? (Open ended. His teeth are ominous.)

Pages 19 + 20 

  • Who lost his shoe? (The man climbing on the balcony.)

Pages 20 + 21 

  • What row is Little Bear sitting in? (5)

Pages 22 + 23 

  • Find all the bees and creatures on the rooftop. (The architectural details are filled with hidden images of animals, bees, as well as Papa and Little Bear.

Thank you Michaela from Connecticut for sharing your drawing, inspired by Little Kid's Book Club #8:"The Day the Crayons Quit."

Drawing inspired by The Day the Crayons Quit

As Josh Funk, the author of "Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast," says:                                                                                   "Stay hungry for books."

Caryl Frankenberger & Julie E. Janson