Winter had come early and Bear was running late.
He was feeling very sleepy, it was time to hibernate.
He hurried down the mountain, past the icy rocks,
and never even noticed a rather sneaky Fox.
The Bear is back – and this time he’s really sleepy. Winter is here, and he needs to hibernate, but a sneaky fox thinks Bear needs a new bigger cave. First he offers a train tunnel, then a bat cave, and lastly an ocean-side cave. When bear decides he’s had enough and wants to go back to his own snug cave, he finds Fox and his friends have moved in.
The Very Sleepy Bear features the bear who youngsters may well know from The Very cranky bear and other offerings. Told in humorous rhyme and featuring the big brown bear and assorted other characters in gently humorous acrylics , the book will nightstand repeated rereading – which is just as well, because it will be requested over and over.
The Very Sleepy Bear, by Nick Bland
The unlikely trio – a big white bear, a little girl and a mouse – come together in a surprising way against the delightfully whimsical winter landscape of King’s imagination
It began to snow, and Bear knew it was time for his big sleep. But instead of saying goodbye, he lifted Ren and nestled her in his coat. Bear was as warm as a summer memory.
As Bear prepares for his winter sleep, he finds his friend Ren (a human girl) crying because her favourite tree has lost its leaves. Even though he should be settling down to sleep, Bear picks Ren up and takes her to marvel at the wonders of winter – falling snow, a gurgling reek, glistening icicles and bendy branches. They join with Mouse to watch the twinkling winter stars and spend the night counting them. But in the morning, Bear is tired – and Ren knows that he must sleep. Together the three friends trace back to the tree, where they leave souvenirs of their journey before Bear, finally, settles down to sleep for the winter.
A Bear and a Tree is a breathtaking celebration of winter – and of friendship. The unlikely trio – a big white bear, a little girl and a mouse – come together in a surprising way against the delightfully whimsical winter landscape of King’s imagination. Like all of his book’s, King’s illustrations are seemingly simple and yet say so much, with a dream-like quality which the soft blues and whites of the winter landscape abet beautifully.
This a book which is perfect for snuggling up to read, in much the same way as the characters themselves snuggle up. Excellent for bedtime reading, or for rainy-day reading, or for any=time reading, really.
A Bear and a Tree, by Stephen Michael King
This book is available in good bookstores, or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.