CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 3. . . .September 22, 2017
A Bedtime for Bear.
Bonny Becker. Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton.
Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press (Distributed in Canada by Random House of Canada), 2010/2016.
48 pp., pbk., $9.50.
Preschool-kindergarten / Ages 3-5.
Review by Alicia Cheng.
“I am here to spend the night!” exclaimed Mouse with a happy wiggle of his whiskers.
“Surely we agreed on next Tuesday,” protested Bear.
“No,” said Mouse. “You most definitely said tonight.”
“Oh,” said Bear.
Bear had never had an overnight guest before. Guests could quite possibly mess things up and make noise, and Bear needed quiet, absolute quiet, at bedtime.
You may already be familiar with Bear and Mouse from Bonny Becker’s other picture books, such as A Visitor for Bear and The Sniffles for Bear. Originally published in hardcover in 2010, the paperback edition is now available. In this Bear and Mouse adventure, much to Bear’s surprise, Mouse shows up for a sleepover at Bear’s house. The noise Mouse makes disturbs Bear’s sleep, but when his friend is finally fast asleep, Bear hears a strange noise. All of a sudden, it is Bear who is afraid of the quiet and needs the help of his friend before he can go to sleep again.
A humorous story with illustrations that portray Bear’s feelings perfectly, A Bedtime for Bear is a storytime favourite, especially for preschoolers. Denton’s attention-to-detail watercolour illustrations clearly depict Bear’s annoyed and scared moments as well as Mouse’s sleepy and awake states. The illustrations really bring their experiences to life. Children, especially those who are frightened at night or easily anxious and nervous, will be drawn into the story through Bear and Mouse’s emotions. A Bedtime for Bear allows children the chance to face their fears and learn that there are ways to calm their nerves.
Becker’s use of active verbs and use of sounds with works such as “creak” and “squeak” create an emotional buildup for children reading (or hearing) the story. With simple lines on each page and engaging dialogue, A Bedtime for Bear will easily catch the eye of preschoolers. This interactive story is perfect for storytime and as a family read-aloud.
Alicia Cheng is a Children’s Librarian at the Vancouver Public Library in Vancouver, BC.
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