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We love books in our house, I have always read with both my children from them being tiny and now my eldest can even read to her younger sister which I think is really nice, we have a massive amount of books in our house and even though I know there are too many I still don't want to get rid of any. This book was given to one of the girls as a Christmas present from their Auntie and Uncle who are both teachers so always buy them at least 1 book for every occasion. The book has a RRP of £5.99 and you can buy it on Amazon for £4.49 including free delivery which is great although I do prefer to buy books from a shop so that I can have a flick through them and get a feel for them. The book is really great quality, it's a little bigger than A4 so it is great for sharing and it has a lovely glossy cover on it. The front cover is a little dark as it's set at night-time where the little Bear is rolling around his bed as he can't sleep, the title of the book is at the top of the cover and the names Martin Waddell who is the author and Barbara Firth who is the illustrator is at the bottom of the cover. Even though the front cover is a bit dark there is something about the little Bears face that draws you into the book. The story starts by introducing Big Bear and Little Bear who live in a cave together, they play all day and then at night they return to the cave to go to bed. Big Bear puts Little Bear into bed and then goes to read a book but Little Bear can't sleep as he is scared of the dark so he can't sleep, Big Bear gets Little Bear a tiny lantern and then goes back to the chair to read his book. Again Little Bear can't sleep and is still scared of the dark so Big Bear gets him a bigger lantern and again tried to read his book, this continues until Baby Bear has the biggest lantern of all. Little Bear still cannot sleep even with all the lanterns and he explains to Big Bear that he is now scared of the dark outside, the 2 bears go outside and Big Bear takes Little Bear to look at the moon and all the twinkling stars and Little Bear falls asleep in Big Bears arms. The 2 Bears go back into the cave and snuggle down on the chair where Big Bear finally manages to read his book right to the very end. This is a lovely book, the pictures are all pretty dark but then that is the whole point of the story, each page is printed on thick quality paper and the text is even a little bit fancy. The girls love to listen to this book even though there are full pages of text I places so it is actually quite a long book for a young child but it even holds my 2 year olds attention. My eldest daughter actually reads some of the book with me an as it's quite repetitive it's easy for her with her basic reading skills. The book is fantastic quality and a really lovely story, I tell my eldest it reminds me of her when she can't sleep as she will find any reason to shout me up to her room but she tells me she isn't scared of the dark! I would recommend this book, my 2 year old loves it and it is still a story my 6 year old likes to read.
Martin Waddell's Little Bear books have reached 7 million sales across the world. We've read a plethora of kids books in our house, so it surprised me a bit that I'd never come across a Little Bear book before now. There are a series of books featuring Little Bear and Big Bear, each one a different scenario. This one features Little Bear trying to get to sleep, and the soft pastel colours and Barbara Firth's lovely illustrations really do match well with Waddell's tale. Little Bear is having trouble getting to sleep as he's afraid of the dark. Bi Bear keeps bringing lanterns of increasing size to combat the vast dark in their cave, but to no avail as Little Bear always finds more dark that the lanterns don't light. How can Big Bear get Little Bear to sleep? The first time I read the book to our 20 month old, I hadn't realised how long it was. Some of the pages have a good few paragraphs, and it's not of print for little ones to find the easiest to read. I'd definitely say this was one for adults to read to the kids as opposed to them using it to help them read. However, my 9 year old does read this to him occasionally, and it's good practice for his reading aloud skills. The book does get somewhat repetitive, as each time Little Bear tries to sleep, the conversation goes almost exactly the same way, just with Big Bear getting more frustrated each time. In shorter books I find the repetition is endearing and lends itself to being effective in the story. Here though, it gets a bit annoying, and some of the sentence construction makes it a bit tricky to get your tongue around. However, this doesn't detract from what is ultimately a lovely tale and a book that will make you smile. It's relaxingly written, the repetition and tongue tying elements aside, and I liked the way that the pages are designed. There is an archway effect for each page, the words and images contained within them for the most part but illustrator Barbara Firth using the space effectively to dip in and out of this design from time to time; the odd chair back or Big Bear overlapping to give some definition to the page, and a couple of the pages dispensing with the archway effect and using the full width and height of the pages to good effect. Firth's illustrations are gentle and warm, the pastel colours soothing and making you think of bedtime. The story certainly indicates when the book is for, naturally, and the artwork merely backs this up in the softest of fashions. I thought this was a well designed book, cover to cover. I can always tell whether I'm going to like a book or not based on how I turn it over in my hands, and I enjoy flicking through and just looking at its design, without even looking at the words of the tale itself. Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? retails for around the £6 or £7 mark, and is a delightful story. Slightly repetitive and occasionally awkward to read out loud, it has lovely illustrations and will most likely make you smile. Not perfect, but recommended.
As a mum of two girls, all of uas having a healthy interest in books and stories, we write a lot of reviews on books! The Martin Waddell Big Bear and Little Bear books all feature and rate quite highly! This however, in my opinion is the least enjoyable of the series. As usual this book revolves around the lives and adventures of 2 bears - Big Bear and Little Bear, presumably father and son. In this particular story they have had their daily adventures and now it is time for bed. Little Bear gets put to bed in the dark park of the Bear Cave and is encouraged to go to sleep - however, he can't! Little Bear explains that the dark part of the Bear Cave is TOO dark and he is afraid of the dark. The story continues whereby Big Bear tries to encourage Little Bear to sleep by brining him various, progressively larger lanterns to light his part of the cave. However, none of these suffice and eventually Big Bear takes Little Bear out into the night and shows him the moon, which is big and bright. By this point however Little Bear is asleep in his arms and Big Bear carries him back to the Bear Cave and continues to read his book with him in his arms. As always the illustrations in this story are beautiful. My problem is that the story is VERY repetitive! I know books for young children often rely on repetition to encourage the child to join in with the story, but I think this one takes it too far. Many of the pages are simply LONG repeats of the previous page with a little change at the end as each lantern gets bigger etc. If you can put up with the endless repetition this is a really nice book with a sweet story and message. As UI say not my favourite of the series but it still gets read!
Was first published the year my daughter was born 1988, being an avid book reader and wanting to share that love with my children, I had bought this book (amongst a few others) it by the time she was a year old to put away ready for when she was a little bit older. This book is recommended from the age of 2 years. We read to both out girls almost from birth, the repetative lilt of mum or dad's voice seemed to lul them to sleep even before they realised they were hearing a story. This book became a family favourite and I still have my paper back copy (on nice heavy satin finish pages) almost like new 22 years later. It was also read to my niece who is now 7 when she stayed with us and she loved it just as much as my children. There is I feel nothing in the tale to date it, and I think it will remain a favourite with families far into the future. A tale of a caring parent comforting a nervous child with humour and grace, not to mention the absolutely beautiful illustrations, what more could you ask for. Martin Waddell is the author of this book, a well known children's author who has won several awards including the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Smarties Prize for Children's Books for this book alone and in 2004 the Hans Christian Anderson Award for children's literature. He also used to also write under the name of Katherine Sefton using this pseudonym to write more 'serious' books. He has now amalgamated his personas and only writes under Martin Wadell. I always trust a book written by this author, he portrays family relationships well and simply for all ages to understand and empathise with. The soft pencil illustrations by Barbara Firth make this book for me, I love the story, but it is as a whole it really sings. As it turned out my first child was a total non sleeper, a couple of cat naps in the day was enough to keep her fired up for 24 hours. Was it prescience that drew me to this book asking 'can't you sleep...' no I just loved the illustrations at the time. However as my littly refused to sleep this book as she grew old enough to talk became a good opportunity for her on my prompting, to tell me why she couldn't sleep. It became apparent that it was nothing to do with fear of the dark, which I have to admit I still have even now, but a more common feature of children's inability to sleep, the fear of missing something. She didn't want to close her eyes because she would miss "all the fun". Although we thought we had established a good night time routine, winding things down etc this realisation that the thought of the grown ups still being awake and having fun without her helped us to develop a good night time routing where all 'fun' stopped at about 6 'o' clock. The T.V. if on was switched off, voices were lowered to a more soothing tone, and mam and dad didn't josh around or talk about exciting things like trips out, the pets or visiting cousins etc. We also turned off the main lights (if it was winter and they were on), or shut curtains to lower light levels. We found that this though not perfect worked quite well and got her to sleep by about 7 or 8, whereas before she could still be using the bed as a trampoline at 3 in the morning on occasions. So although she wasn't afraid of the dark as little bear was, the book did directly lead to us realising why our little bear couldn't sleep. The book itself is beautifully written with repetition of phrases, primarily 'can't you sleep little bear' at it's core,which seems to be quite comforting for young children, and gives them a 'hook' to repeat with you if they chose, allowing them to anticipate the story and feel they are almost reading it with you. We made a point of showing our daughter the book while reading it with her. Partly so that they could enjoy the beautiful pictures which make the book so special but also so that I could point to some key words as we read them, so that she associated the 'shape' of the word with the sound, we did this with all books that we read to the girls when they were small. Children can also recognise the humour which seems to be a wink to the adult reader and laugh with it, for example when big bear 'puts down the bear book (he?) was reading "which was just getting to the interesting part" to go and attend to Little Bears needs. I also like the fact that neither Big Bear nor Little Bear is referred to as a specific gender, so children of either sex and within single parent families of whatever sex, or same sex parents can relate just as easily as children within the (technically) more traditional set up. I think that this book brings up childhood fears in a safe and loving way that allows the child to see that there are scary things, but that it's ok to talk about them, and that there is usually an explanation for what they are scared of that is not scary at all. Little bears fear of the dark is taken seriously by big bear. Big bear brings little bear progressively bigger lanterns and lights until little bears side of the cave is lit up like a Christmas tree. Eventually Big Bear hits on the perfect solution (for Little Bear) and takes him/her outside to see the big dark, and all the beautiful stars that light up the night sky, so that he can see that the dark isn't just around him, and that it is beautiful in its own way. Big bear tells him to look at the dark, and tells him he's brought him the moon, "the big yellow moon and all the twinkly stars", little bear once he 'confronts' his fears and sees that it is not scary he falls asleep in big bears arms, who is then able to read the 'Bear Book' right to the end. Sigh, lovely memories. I'd highly recommend this book whether your little ones are scared of the dark or not, it's like a big warm bear hug. However one thing I would consider before reading this to your children is that if you know they are very sensitive and likely to pick up fears perhaps wait until they are old enough to see that it is just a sweet story. No one wants to implant a fear of the dark where there was none. The story is available to watch at the moment on BBC I player, Cbeebies Jackanory junior. A narrator is used and tells the story from amongst what looks like the original drawings. The book can also still be bought from most decent book sellers and is available on Amazon for around £3.00 - £2.67 with free postage from Amazon itself, other sellers offer it more cheaply but their postage brings it up to the same price or more.
Can't you sleep little bear is a fabulous story wrote by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Barbara Firth. The story is about a little bear who doesn't like being in the dark... something I think most parents are familiar with if they have children. After Big bear tucks little bear in bed in the dark side of the bear cave and sits down to read his bear book he is disrubted by little bear who cannot sleep, Big bear gets little bear a small lantern to help him but with no luck little bear returns, after this situation repeats itself and Big Bear tries with various different lanterns Big Bear comes up with a solution, he takes little bea out of the cave to see the night sky and show him the moon and how it lights up the sky, with Big Bear's reasurrance little Bear falls asleep on this shoulder. This story is warm, caring and loved by many children. It has helped my child understand and realise that there is no need to be afraid of the dark. The book is widely available throughout the UK for less than £5.00. I have purhased a special DVD + story book version which allows your child to watch the story unfold too. Walker Books ISBN 978-1-4063-0354-4 RRP: £7.99
'Can't You Sleep Little Bear?' is a Walker Books story that was first published in 1988. Despite the text being nearly 22years old, it feels modern and is relevant to situations and experiences children face today (being afraid of the dark). The Author -------------- The story is written by Martin Waddell, who has won the Smarties Children's Literature award twice, once for this very book, and also for 'Farmer Duck'. He also writes under the female name, 'Catherine Sefton' and in 2004 was awarded the Hans Christian Anderson Award for Children's Literature. The Book ------------ The book is written in english, is 29 pages long and is printed in a large font suitable for young readers. The cover shows an endearing illustration of Big Bear and Little Bear. The Story ------------- The story is perhaps given away by the title! Little Bear can't get to sleep, he doesn't like the dark and not even Big Bear's big lantern can comfort him. Until Big Bear has an idea, he takes him to see the 'bright yellow moon, and the twinkly stars'. It's a charming little story, and the perfect tale to share with your child at bedtime. Illustations -------------- The book is illustrated by the very talented Barbara Firth, who won the Kate Greenway Medal for Outstanding Work in Children's Literature illustration for this book in 1988. The pictures look like charcoal drawings coloured in with watercolours, the colours are soft and neutral and they are plenty of things to look at and talk about with your child. I particulary like Little Bear's bedroom, and the pictures he has drawn of monsters on his bedroom wall. The book has recieved high commendation from respected critics, including Molly Keane of 'The Sunday Times': "The most perfect children's book ever written of illustrated...It evaporates and dispel's all fear of the dark." This would be a lovely book to read if your child has problems with the dark at bedtime, but a lovely book to read by all aswell. Happy Reading x
Little Bear is afraid of the dark: the dark is sooo big, and not even the biggest lantern can dispel it. What can the Big Bear do? This is a sweet, enchanting book, perfect for bedtime reading, suitable for older toddlers and younger pre-schoolers alike. Most little children have gone through a period of repeatedly getting out of bed and demanding something from the parents (even if it wasn't an increasingly bigger lantern), so they (and their parnets too) will be able to relate to this one. I don't think this tale is a particularly great solution for children terribly afraid of the dark, although they (as will those with only mild worries) will be able to relate to Little Bear's fears. The reassurance is there, but it's not the main point, the main point being a STORY being told to the reader in words and pictures. The illustrations are typically cute, but just about this side of nauseating, and the text is nicely repetitive which all little children (but not always their parents, sadly) like. I loved the final, out of the cave in the starry night tableau, though the solution to sleeping My little boy likes it, but not madly so, thus a 4 star rating, and a moderately enthusiastic recommendation for buying as a good bedtime story for 2 to 4 year olds.
I don't think you can ever go wrong with a children's book by Martin Waddell and this book is no exception The main characters in this story are Big bear and Little bear "Big bear is the big bear and little bear is the little bear". As a teacher I like the fact that Big bear isn't referred to as dad, it enables more children to identify with the characters. I know thats sad, but its a sign of the times .Of the 30 children currently in my class only 6 live with a dad in the same house! Anyway I digress. The story has a repetitive structure allowing children to join in at various points. Basically little bear is unable to settle to sleep because he is frightened by the dark. Big bear tries to offer him some comfort by bringing lanterns to light up the dark, but to no avail. The illustrations by Barbara Firth really enhance the story. I particularly love the illustrations when little bear is 'trying' to get to sleep, as they show him upside down, under the covers, over the covers, hanging off the side of the bed! This story has a very calming feel to it, I love to read it to my children at the end of the schoo lday. It seems to relax them and even though they know the story really well, they listen carefully. This story could be used to help children who are afraid of the dark, it often leads to discussions about how the children get to sleep, night time routines etc. Again, if you will allow me to digress, I am always astounded by the number of children whose parents do not read them a bed time story. The majority go to sleep to the lull of the TV or a dvd. There is nothing to dislike about this story. The 'plot' is easy to follow, the characters lovable, the illustrations amusing and sympathetic to the story. This partnership have written a number of Big Bear and Little Bear stories including You and Me little bear, Let's go home Little Bear, Well done Little bear. Again, it may be the teacher in me, but for young children a copy of this book, a little bear and a big bear and a torch would make a fab christmas pressie.
This is a delightful little picture book to share with young children. It is written by Martin Waddell who has written a number of other excellent children's books such as 'Owl Babies' and 'Snow Bears'. It seems to be that in most of his books he looks at the relationship between parents and children in a simple way that children can understand. There is always an underlying sense of love and caring in his books, and although it sounds corny, they do give you a warm fuzzy feeling! 'Can't you sleep, Little Bear?' is no different. The story centres on the relationship between Big Bear and Little Bear, and on Big Bear's efforts to help Little Bear sleep. The story starts after Big Bear and Little Bear have had a fun day playing outside and it is time to go back to the cave and for Little Bear to go to sleep. (Big Bear is hoping that he might get to read his book!) Little Bear is put to bed in the dark part of the cave but he can't sleep beacause he is afraid of the dark. 'Can't you sleep, Little Bear?' asks Big Bear, and he is told by Little Bear that it is scary in the dark. Kind old Big Bear goes to find a little lantern which he thinks will do the trick, puts it on and goes back to his book. This lantern does not give enough light though so Big Bear has to find a bigger one, and so it goes on. Each time he asks 'Can't you sleep, Little Bear?' and after many reads my daughter loves joining in with these words! Big Bear is beginning to despair, as every time Little Bear says that there is still dark left, but eventually comes up with an idea. He takes Little Bear outside and says to look up at the sky and shows him the biggest lantern of all. 'I've brought you the moon!' he says and at last Little Bear is reassured and goes back to bed feeling warm and safe! And yes, finally, Big Bear does get to finish his book! This book is great for exploring lots of ideas especially children's fears of the dark. It has wonderful illustrations with so much to talk about and look at on every page. I can also emphasise with Big Bear, having a three year old whose fears I have to dispel regularly, and often I think I have found the solution only to discover she needs more reassurance! And like Big Bear, I often attempt to read my book too! The book is from Walker Books and made from good quality card and paper. It was the winner of the Smarties Book Prize abd the Kate Greenaway medal so has been well acclaimed. My copy shows the RRP of £4.99 but I bought it as part of a set through The Book People (I have a review posted about these) for a lot less! It is such a lovely book to share with your little ones and I thoroughly recommend it! If your children are anything like mine, they will want to read it again and again!