Maybe it would be soft like his mother’s fur.
He waited with his legs curled high.
Maybe it would be firm like his father’s hug.
he waited with his head tucked low.
Maybe it would be sweet like fresh woodland grass.
Little Bear waited and waited…nothing happened.
Little Bear was awake.
It is time for Little Bear’s first big witer sleep. His moother and father fall asleep quickly, but Little Bear is wide awake. What will the big sleep feel like? And what will happen if he can’t get to sleep? He tries all kinds of positions, but it is only when he snuggles in close to his parents that sleep finally finds him.
Little Bear’s First Sleep is a gentle picture book story about – of course – bears, and sleep, but also about navigating rites of passage towards independence. With his parents asleep, Little Bear must solve his dilemma for himself, but it is with the knowledge that his aprents are close that he finally does so.
The illustrations, using soft colours in watercolour and gouache, are just beautiful, and teamed with the gentle text make this a lovely bedtime story.
Little Bear’s First Sleep, by Lesely Gibbes & Lisa Stewart
Scholastic Australia, 2016
Claude was a large elephant.
Finlay was a small one.
Claude is so large that he can make the earth shake with his trumpets, shower a whole herd of elephants, and stomp like thunder. Finlay is little and can’t do any of those things. He can’t wait to be as a big as Claude. But when they become separated Finlay has a special adventure all of his own. When they are reunited, Claude tells Finlay that one day he will be big, too. But in the meantime there is no hurry to grow up.
As Big as You is a breathtaking book. The story is really heart warming and the message is a good one, but it is the visual feast offered by the illustrations and design of the book which make it really magic. With the spine at the top rather than the side, each spread is long (portrait rather than the usual landscape orientation), which enables Claude’s size and the vastness of the landscape to be emphasised. On the opening spread, Claude is so big that very little of him fits onto the spread – one leg, one ear, one eye and a trunk frame the page, with the void in the middle bearing the single sentence ‘Claude was a LARGE elephant.’ The next spread introduces Final, and has him at the bottom of the spread, eye to eye with two beetles, and the spread above him largely empty apart from three butterflies. The cleverness of this beginning is carried through the book with simple yet beautiful watercolour illustrations and attention to text layout.
This is a beautiful book.
As Big as You, by Sara Acton