"Bear is Awake!"

Any book from Oklahoma author/illustrator Hannah E. Harrison earns a resounding A-OK. “Bear is Awake! An Alphabet Story” is Harrison’s newest, a charming tale chosen as this month’s Baby Buzz Pick.

Add “Bear is Wake!” to a growing list of books suggested in “The Missourian” for little ones birth to age 5. Each month a Baby Buzz Pick is reviewed in the second weekend issue of “The Missourian” by Chris Stuckenschneider, book editor, and Maria Brady-Smith, former parent educator with the Washington School District.

This month’s review was written by Stuckenchneider with an addendum by Brady-Smith.

Using the letters of the alphabet, Hannah E. Harrison tells the engaging story of a curious (B) “big bear” who cuts his zzz’s short to ring the doorbell of a (C) “cozy cottage” in the woods belonging to a blonde who’s cute but terrified, (E) “eek,” when the beast enters her abode to get (F) “food, food, food, food, food, food.”

The girl’s emotions get (G) grumpy when bear gobbles everything up. But she turns the day around with an (I) idea—she’ll take bear out for the day—the townspeople getting the surprise of their life at the (L) library, and the market, the bear’s ferocious appetite making him raid shelves for stick-to-your-ribs goodies.

Soon it’s time to return home for a (P) plateful of pancakes before (Q) quiet time, the girl picking up “All About Bears” a book she checked out at the library, where a page explains hibernation.

Now the girl knows exactly what bear needs and a trek back to the woods gets underway where the child tucks in her new friend, who’s soon sound asleep, with a note to read upon awakening: “See you in the spring.”

One can only imagine the further adventures these two will have with that coming change of season.

Parents can take comfort knowing that alphabet books like “Bear is Awake!” are not only entertaining, but offer a valuable educational foundation, said Brady-Smith.

“The beauty of alphabet books is how they provide fun opportunities for letter and sound learning so that by the time a child is ready to read, they are already familiar with the basic components,” she said. “This gives children a step up on the path to becoming prolific readers.”