Bear Can’t Sleep (Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Bear Can’t Sleep, the ninth(!) story in Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman’s beloved Bear Books series.

The winter snows have piled up high around Bear’s cave, and he is tucked under his warm quilt head-to-toe. A perfect setting for a perfect hibernation, but just one problem: Bear can’t sleep. He tosses and turns, stares at the wall, tries to relax, but nothing seems to help. Mouse pops in to check on his friend, and is shocked to find Bear awake! More of Bear’s familiar pals are drawn into the cave to help him relax – brewing mint tea, warm milk, lullabies, and so on – but he is only growing more grumpy and bored of trying to drift off. At last, he channels his frustration to a fun activity: telling his gathered friends a new story to pass the time. But as the story nears its end, his audience hears a small snore and smiles, tiptoeing out as the bear snores on.

As always, just delightful. Sweetly calling back to Bear Snores On – the first of the series and basically this book’s opposite in terms of plot – the massive, cuddly-looking Bear and all his woodland friends are back. Fans of the series will recognize the familiar rhythm of the text, which has a wonderfully soothing flow and is a pleasure to read aloud. The illustrations, using semi-realistic animals and Bear’s familiar cozy cave as setting, are simply adorable. The length is great, and this would make a marvelous bedtime book, especially as a companion to Bear Snores On. JJ also adores these books, both for the easily-imitated rhythm and the rich, warm artwork. A great addition to a stellar series, and Baby Bookworm approved!

Bear Snores On (Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman)

Hello, friends! Today’s book is Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman, the first story in the popular Bear series by the author/illustrator team.

Bear is curled tightly in his warm winter cave, enjoying a long nap as the winds howl outside. Escaping the winter weather, a small mouse happens upon the cave, and decides to light a small fire to warm himself, confident that his actions will not disturb Bear. Soon, Hare and Badger join the fun, bringing treats and tea and catching up. Soon more animal friends appear, bringing with them food and conversation, and a small but raucous party begins to form. The friends are having so much fun, in fact, they seem to have forgotten that they are sharing the cave with the very sleepy bear… and that a giant sleeping bear might not appreciate being woken up!

The Bear series has become very popular with little readers and parents for a reason, and this book is a perfect example of why. The story is charming, and features a sweet, humorous conclusion. The rhyming text flows well and is fun to read, and has onomatopoeia and the option for many different voices to make reading it aloud quite fun. The illustrations are darling, managing to create characters that are both lifelike yet extremely expressive. The length is perfect, and JJ always enjoys the Bear books, especially this one. A great start to a great series, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!