|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 7.62(h) x (d)|
|Age Range:||5 - 8 Years|
Read an Excerpt
and the Seven Bears
Russell Michaels was five years old. He lived with his parents and his little sister Elisa in an apartment in New York City. Russell's friends Teddy and Nora lived in the same apartment building.
When June came, Russell graduated from the Sunshine Nursery School. On the last day of school there was a party. Everyone ate cupcakes and ice cream, even though it was still morning. It was the first time Russell had ever eaten ice cream before lunch. He hoped they would eat ice cream every morning in the new kindergarten class he would go to in September.
"I will be in Teddy's class!" Russell told his mother.
"In September, when you are in kindergarten, Teddy will be in first grade," Mrs. Michaels explained. "He has finished kindergarten."
It wasn't fair. No matter how hard Russell tried, he was never able to catch up.
His mother reminded him that since his birthday was a month before Teddy's, there would be four weeks every year when both boys would be the same age. But it was still a long, long time until his birthday came again.
That afternoon, Russell, Teddy, and Nora were playing together. Teddy and Nora's grandpa was visiting, too.
"Kindergarten is fun," Teddy told Russell. "You will like it."
"Kindergarten is easy," Nora said. "First grade is easy, too. But second grade is hard. Wait till you get to second grade. Then you'll see.
Second grade seemed much too far away for Russell to worry about now. He was thinking about what they should do today.
"Let's watch TV," Russell suggested.
"I don't want to," said Teddy.
"Do you know that when I was a little boy,we didn't have television?" Teddy's grandpa said.
"No television?" said Russell. "Then how did you watch your programs?"
"We couldn't," said Grandpa. "We listened to the radio. We would close our eyes and imagine what everything looked like."
Nora and Teddy and Russell all closed their eyes.
"I can't see anything," Russell said. "It's dark."
"Come sit with me here on the sofa," said Grandpa. "I'll tell you a story. You can close your eyes and imagine it."
"Oh, yes, said Nora. "Make up a story for us.
"No," said Russell. "I want to hear about Snow White and the Seven Bears."
"'Snow White and the Seven Bears'?" Nora laughed. "There's no such story. You mean 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.'"
"Nora's right," said Teddy. "You're wrong, Russell."
"No," Russell insisted. "I want to hear about Snow White and the Seven Bears."
"Dwarfs," said Nora.
"Dwarfs," said Teddy.
"Bears," shouted Russell. "I want a story about bears."
"How about 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears'?" said Nora. "That's a story about bears."
"I want to hear 'Snow White and the Seven Bears,'" said Russell, trying hard not to cry.
"Wait a minute," said Grandpa. "I think I know that one. It goes like this.
"Once upon a time, when Snow White was living with the Seven Dwarfs, she went for a walk in the forest. She started to pick some flowers to bring home to them. All at once she heard a voice. 'What are you doing, little girl?' said the voice."
"That sounds like the wolf who met Little Red Riding Hood in the forest," said Nora. "That's what he said."
"No," said Grandpa. "It wasn't a wolf."
"Was it a bear?" Russell guessed.
"How did you know?" asked Grandpa. "It certainly was. The bear was very small and he was lost. 'I went for a walk all by myself,' he said, 'and now I can't find my way home.' Snow White was a very kind girl. She had some chewing gum in her pocket, and she gave it to the little bear. 'Do you live with a medium-size mama and a great big papa bear?' she asked.
"'Yes,' said the little bear. 'And I also live with my baby sister and my three brother bears. We are quadruplets.'"
"What are quadruplets?" asked Russell.
"They're like twins," said Grandpa, "but there are four of them instead of two."
"Stop interrupting," said Nora. "What happened then?"
"Well, Snow White said to the little bear, 'I'll try to help you find your way home, but I don't want to get lost myself.'
"'Couldn't you leave a trail in the forest?' asked the little bear. 'I once saw some children do that. They left a trail of pebbles."'
"That was 'Hansel and Gretel,'" said Russell.
"Stop interrupting," said Teddy.
"Snow White felt. in her other pocket. There was a package of M&M candies. So, as she walked through the woods, she left a trail of green and yellow and orange candies. Pretty soon they came to a small house. 'Do you live there?' she asked the little bear.
"'No,' said the bear. 'Bears don't live in houses. We live in eaves."'
"What about 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears'?" asked Teddy. "Those bears lived in a house."
"Funny you should mention that," said Grandpa. "Because who do you think lived in this house?"
"Who?" asked Russell.
"Goldilocks!" said Grandpa. "She came out of the door and she saw Snow White and the little bear. 'Where are you going?' she asked.
"'We're looking for the home of this little bear,' Snow White told her.
"'Can I come with you?' asked Goldilocks.
"'Sure,' they said.
"So the three of them kept on walking. Pretty soon they came upon a little girl in a red cape. She was picking flowers just like Snow White had been doing a little while before.
"Hi," Snow White called to her. 'Who are you picking flowers for?'"The little girl looked at Snow White, but she didn't answer...
Russell Rides Again. Copyright © by Johanna Hurwitz. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.