There’s been an unusual amount of growling going on in our home this past weekend! It’s all down to Julia Dweck! Not to worry though, it’s all in fun. My children have decided they are going to act like bears after reading “Faux Paw”. We’ve received a copy of this ebook in exchange for writing our review.
Julia Dweck’s newest children’s book, Faux Paw, will be released tomorrow (October 22, 2013). This adorable book has cute characters that are under the authority of a mean-looking and mean-sounding teacher called Mrs. Hunter (there’s no way this could be Mrs. Dweck in her day-job, I’m sure. By the way, did you know she is really is a teacher?).
‘Waldon Bear is a little boy who wants to be a bear.
“That’s impossible,” says his teacher, Mrs. Hunter. “Human children grow up to be human adults, not animals!” But Waldon refuses to listen. Can Waldon make it as a bear in school?’
The children in Faux Paw all have animal-like last names such as Crowe, Wolf, and Bear. The teacher’s name is Mrs. Hunter. My children are still too young to understand the significance of these names, but for slightly older children, it will bring greater meaning to this story. Waldon Bear’s Mom makes him a grizzly bear costume and supports him in being a bear. Soon Waldon’s enthusiasm spreads to the rest of the class, much to the annoyance of Mrs. Hunter!
Tristan says about his favourite part of the book, when Waldon arrives to class wearing his bear costume, “It was great when he came to school and surprised the teacher. I loved that part! The teacher was not happy.”
The story ends with a new teacher, Mrs. Lions making an appearance (in a lion costume). Tristan said about Julia Dweck at the end of reading this book for the first time, “I know who she is: she’s Mrs Lions!”
Mrs. Dweck had supportive parents, and she has dedicated this book to her sister, who always wanted to be a bird. Their parents never discouraged her, and although she isn’t literally a bird, her “imagination takes flight each day” according to Julia.
I’m sure you know of a parent, maybe even yourself, who has made a costume for their child so they can act out a character. My own mom has made a bald-headed eagle costume and a dinosaur costume for my nephew many years ago, and he loved them so much he’d wear them until he couldn’t fit into them any longer. He’d even wear them to bed to stay in character. Waldon Bear’s mother is just as kind and makes her son a bear costume when he wants to be a bear, against the approval of his teacher, Mrs. Hunter.
At the end of Faux Paw you’ll find out some amazing bear facts about eight kinds of bears. Your child can also practice their skills with some animals track matching. Tristan and Kallista really enjoy this, and Tristan remembers doing something similar two years ago.
This book, like others that Mrs. Dweck has written contains an important lesson. In Faux Paw it is that you can be anything you want to be. Never give up, just be creative about how you achieve your goal.
The previous books we’ve reviewed for Mrs. Dweck have been rhyming stories. Faux Paw isn’t such a book. It’s interesting how you can associate a particular style of both writing and illustrations with an author. This book switches up the writing style for us.
Each of the books we’ve read by Mrs. Dweck have had different illustrators which was a bit different at first, but now we see how each illustrator adds something different to each story and Mrs. Dweck has chosen well for each story. Walter Carzon is the illustrator for Faux Paw, and he’s been following his dream of illustrating since he was a boy. You can find out more about him here.
After reading this book, and for the 3 days since, Tristan and Kallista have spent their days growling and being bears of various species. Now they want to do a bear craft! I better get my thinking cap on for this!
What do you want to be when you grow up? Carolyn of Wise Owl Factory has created lots of fun posters on this topic. Print out a few and have your child pose with them, the photos will be treasured when looked back upon in years to come!
If you would like to purchase your own Faux Paw e-book, simply click on the Amazon affiliate link below.
You can see more of our reviews of Mrs. Dweck’s books by clicking on one of these links: