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Just for Today Hardcover – March 10, 2005
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1–"Wake up, sleepy heads!/We have a surprise./It's just for today,/So open your eyes." So begins this story about bear parents who forego all of their usual routines and give their children their full attention. Even the dog and cat get in on the fun of family finger painting, walking barefoot, watching the stars, and saying prayers. Telling silly jokes, flying paper airplanes, and eating popcorn for breakfast are also part of the festivities. Shapiro's dreamy watercolors are charming–fancy hats and cheery home scenes abound. Unfortunately, there are problems with the rhyme and meter. Also, one must wonder if children will appreciate the idea of their parents turning off "The telephone and faxes./All the world will have to wait,/Including bills and taxes." Although the concept of a whole family playing hooky is appealing, this uneven effort falls flat.–Bina Williams, Bridgeport Public Library, CT
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In an increasingly busy world, Mama and Papa Bear have proposed a radical plan: just for today, the Bear family and their pets are going to do absolutely nothing but have fun and enjoy one another's company.
Choosing to ignore the laundry, turn off the telephone, and postpone bills and taxes, the Bear family indulges in a day of pleasure: squishing clay, playing dress up in funny hats, pretending they're opera singers, walking barefoot in the grass, juggling jelly beans, splashing in puddles, and riding bikes until dark are just a few of the wonderful activities they share.
Illustrated in gentle watercolors, Just for Today reminds us of the importance of quality time with loved ones and the inherent value in exchanging the demands of life with silly games and relaxing pastimes.
This tale of a day off from everything but family just shines with love. The text is deceptively simple, speaking to how often we are weighted down with dozens of reasons NOT to just be with those we love, and the watercolor illustrations are whimsical, bright, and beautiful. Have your child, (or grandchild) look for all the bears' shoes when they decide to go barefoot (bearpaw?)
This is a book you'll read over and over; it will be the answer to "what shall we read tonight?" for years to come.