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There are only 24 words in this book and a whole series of great pictures, which as it says on the back cover will "help even babies make the important connection between word and meaning". Every evening for the past week, at about 7pm I have been gathering evidence that this is indeed the case. When I was small, my Dad read me this story. Probably my Mum read it to me too, but Dad was best. (Mum was best for other books). It was a bedtime story, and I can still recall the tensions and excitement created by these few words and pictures as the story was read to me, though I must have been a few years older than Baby CrazyEgg is now. Because I have always remembered this particular story when I saw it for sale when I was about 20 I bought it. And it has stayed pristine and treasured until this week, when I thought, "I wonder if Baby CrazyEgg would enjoy Bears in the Night?"
On the first reading there was not much interest initially: we were both sat on the floor of her room prior to starting the last tube-feed of the day, and she was trying to stick her head in a plastic tub that she had just emptied of cotton wool balls. I was trying to get her to sit still so that we could start the feed. As we progressed through the story she did sit still, and looked at the pictures as we went through.
The second night she was interested from the first. Every page was accompanied by a noise: of interest, then glee, then anticipation. The bears in the story have a bit of an adventure. They hear a strange noise in the night and go to investigate. When we got to the page before the great discovery, Baby CrazyEgg became very excited, clapping her hands and saying "Gnneeerr, Gneeerr". When I turned the page, she said "AAAAAH!" and began bouncing up and down. The next page has to be read really quickly, and this caused the bouncing to continue, but after their adventure the Bears all get safely back into bed, so the tempo slows and with it Baby CrazyEgg's mood. When we ended the book she gave a very contented "Oomph!" sound. And then, "Aa-ge! A-ge", which, as I have said before, means, "Again."
The third night I tried to read a different book, but Baby CrazyEgg used her new crawling and pointing skills to let me know I was trying to read the wrong book. Since then we have read it every night, and she continues to enjoy it though is rather impatient and grabs the book to hurry me up to get to the scary page. She likes to turn the pages and look very hard at the pictures. It is a shame that, so far as I know, this book is not available as a board book, because it is now very creased and battered. Such enthusiasm seems to me to be an excellent indicator that this book really hits the spot for even very young children, Baby CrazyEgg being nearly 17 months (14 months corrected).
First published in Britain in 1972, Bears in the Night is written by Stan and Jan Berenstain and their editor was Dr Seuss of 'Cat in the Hat' fame. It is part of a series of books about the bears that Dr Seuss named the Berenstain Bears, but I am pretty sure none can be as exciting as this one. I would ask baby CrazyEgg her view, but she is all tucked up in bed, like the bears at the end of the story.
Age level - baby - age 6
This story from Dr. Seuss's Bright and Early Books for Beginning Readers is really very enjoyable. It is so simple even babies can enjoy it, but still manages to hold the attention of older children. The story uses simple words and repetition to tell the story of a nightime adventure for the little the bears. In bed, out of bed, through the woods to top of Spook Hill and oh so quickly back down to their own beds. Just the very slightest bit spooky,this would make a very good Halloween story for very young or easily frightened children.
The illustrations are very well done and completely illustrate the text, so that a child could grasp the story without knowing the words, or a new reader could guess at unknown words by the pictures. The darkened shades also lend a bit more spookyness to the story, making it that much more exciting.
These books are wonderful for developing confidence in emergent readers. This book uses only 24 words for the entire story. These words are taken from the most used word lists for American children learning to read, but as such almost all will still be familiar to begining readers here. Each book in this the Bright and Early Book series is also allowed one "emergency" word, or less familiar word, in this case "Whoo" but this should present no problems for the new reader to learn.
I must say I really do love all the Berenstain Bear Books, and we read so many it is almost as if the characters are members of our own family. My youngest son (age 2) enjoys listening to this story, and the 5 year old can listen to it with his brother, or help me out by doing the reading. I have found these simple stories have done wonders for his confidence in reading, and he quite rightly feels very proud to be able to read them to his brother.
Highly recomended as a great start to a wonderful variety of books by the Berenstains. If you enjoy this book, you will likely enjoy The Berentain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree as well.
I simple adore this book I had it as a child over 20 years ago and still remember having it read to me by my mum and dad. Now I have my son and my mum reminded me do you remember up spook hill story and of course it did and decided I had to find a copy for my son. My mum didn't keep anything from our childhood so I looked on the interent and found a copy of Bears in the night brand new.
The book is by Stan and Jan Berenstain and it part of the Bright and Early books range to help perpare children for reading. My son was nearly 3 when I started reading it to him and seemed to love it as much as I did. The book is around 30 pages long and has simple illustations of some rather odd looking bears if i'm honest, sneaking out of bed to find out where a noise is coming from. The text is simple with 3 words at a time for example "out of bed" the text is then repeated "out of bed, to the window" this style makes it easy for your child to join in with the story.
My son loves when I speed up the story towards the end as the bears and running back in to bed scared of what is at the top of spook hill. Excellent book thats educational and fun.
This is one of the books in the Bright and Early Books for beginning beginners. They are written to help very young children with their reading.
The story is very simple with very few words on each page. Due to the fact that there are so few words on each page and indeed in the whole book, my synopsis of the story is going to be startlingly brief not the usual meanderings at all.
It starts with the bears lying in bed and the big words WHOOOOO coming in through the window. We know something is outside but was is it? The only text on the page is underneath the picture In bed.
The following page shows the bears getting out of bed, and these are the only words. Then they go to the window, out the window, down the tree, over the wall, around the lake, between the rocks, through the woods and up spook Hill.
The bears get such a fright that they jump backwards and run all the way back to their bedroom and back into bed.
The story perfectly repeats all of the vocabulary and their journey, in the opposite direction.
So, not a long story and not a fascinating plot but very simple with lots of repeated vocabulary
Because it is night time, the pictures are all against a dusk/night time background.
The bears are small and quite cute, and children instantly like them because they are quite cheeky looking.
All of the vocabulary is written close to the specific picture it is referring to, and sometimes, there are 3 or 4 actions on the page, with each action having the relevant vocabulary next to it.
**OTHER BITS OF INFORMATION**
My copy was published by Collins, 1971.
**OTHER BOOKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR**
Berenstain Bears forget Their Manners
The Berenstain Bears Count Their Blessings
Old hat, New Hat
The Bears Holiday
Berenstain Bears and The Spooky Old Tree
There are lots of books, and in fact a whole Berenstain Bears series, so its worth checking out amazon, where they are on sale from about £1.50. The books I am most interested in at the moment are the Beginners Books, and these are clearly indicated on amazon
The Berenstain Bears are actually quite famous and have their own website www.berenstainbears.com. The website has lots of activities for young children and is worth a quick peek
By the creators of the Cat in The Hat, this husband and wife team have been writing childrens books for over 40 years, and if, like me, you are a fan, then you will enjoy this one.
The reason I like this book isnt because the story is all in rhyme or because of the fabulous plot. Its because it is fabulously simple. The story is remarkably simple, and actually uses only 24 words, most of these (if not all) being in the list of the 100 most frequently encountered words. The simple phrases are repeated from page to page and the concept of position is emphasised i.e. under, over, around, between etc.
For children just starting out with their independent reading, this book is an excellent introduction to a story they will be able to read by themselves. There is nothing little miss enjoys more than reading mummy a story, and so she turns to this time and time again. She knows she can read it, and she realises its not a school book, therefore, her confidence increases and she feels a sense of pride.
The pictures perfectly match the text and there is a certain amount of humour in the bears expression, and the fact that they get so scared when they see the owl, and scarper back to bed.
We have drawn comparisons between this book and Were going on a bear hunt because it is almost the same concept, and one which children will recognise and point out.
A beautifully simple book which flows easily and because of the way the text is written close to the appropriate pictures, even very young children can begin to make a connection between print and meaning.
For emergent readers I would thoroughly recommend this book, and anything similar you can get hold of.
Thanks for reading.