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Although Jayden is only 10 months old he already has a rather large collection of books, personally I feel that it is never too early to start reading to your baby, although they do not understand the concept of reading and what it means to read a book it is a good way to get them into books and also spend time together cuddled up with a story. I like to read to Jayden as often as possible, one book which we bought him was My Special Bedtime Bear by Claire Freedman and illustrated by Daniel Howarth, personally I think this is a lovely story either as a bedtime story or for any time of the day. The My Special Bedtime Bear book by Claire Freedman and illustrated by Daniel Howarth is a square shaped board book, the front cover has a lovely picture of a baby bear tucked up in bed with Mummy giving him a cuddle, written in a slight arch shape above the picture is the name of the book "My Special Bedtime Bear" written in white writing, in very small writing on the right hand side is the names of the authors, these are written in black writing and do not really stand out against the background of the picture. The back of the book has a different picture of the same baby bear and his Mummy walking holding hands through a forest looking at the trees and leaves blowing, at the bottom of the picture is a purple strip which contains the publishing information and the price, written at the top of the picture is a little bit of information about the story. On the spine of the book is the title of the book and the authors name with a small picture of the baby bear asleep. As I have mentioned this is a board book so all of the pages including the front and back cover are made from a solid cardboard type material, these extra thick and chunky pages makes the book easier for little hands to hold and handle, the thick pages are easier to turn. The fact that this is a board book also makes it stronger and more durable, although I encourage Jayden to be careful with his books, he is only young still and doesn't really understand so they do sometimes get a bit of a rough time and on occasions get put in his mouth, however this never causes any damage due to the durability of the book. My Special Bedtime Bear story starts off with Mummy Bear calling Little Bear in from playing in the forest as it is time to get ready for bed. As Little Bear and Mummy Bear walk back home through the forest they pass their friends houses and see them carrying out various bedtime activities such as Fluffy Fox having his bath, Bouncy Bunny having a bedtime story, Huggy Hedgehog being tucked up in bed and Roly Vole having a cuddle before bed. As they pass each friends home Little Bear states how much fun each activity looks and how it is just like what he does with his Mummy at bedtime, however Mummy Bear says that all of his bedtime activities are more special but Little Bear cannot work out why. Once they reach their home Little Bear and Mummy Bear carry out all the activities that they saw their friends doing and it is not until right at the end that Mummy Bear tells Little Bear why his bedtime is extra special. Each part of the story is accompanied with pictures that clearly illustrate what the story is telling us, I particularly like the pictures in this book, they are extremely well illustrated, detailed and bright and colourful so that they will capture your child's attention, the detail in the pictures also allows you to talk to you child about what is happening in the pictures as well as just reading the writing, whilst the pictures do depict what the story is telling us there are also hidden pictures such as various forest animals under trees and fluttering past, these are also fun for your child to find and point out. My Special Bedtime Bear by Claire Freedman is available from places such as Amazon and is sold for £3.99, this is also the price that appears on the back of the book. We actually purchased our copy of this from our local Pound Store and obviously it cost just £1.00, personally I think the full price of £3.99 is reasonable and I would be happy to pay this, however we got a real bargain with ours being sold for such a low price. Since we purchased this book I have read it with Jayden several times now, personally I really like this book, the story is lovely and goes through all the activities that all children go through with their parents at bedtime and children will be able to relate to these activities and link them to their own bedtime routine. In my opinion the story is just the right length, it is not too long so that a young child would get board whilst reading the book or having it read to them. Another thing I like about this book is the pictures, I love the detail in them and the way they closely follow the story being told. The book is sold for a reasonable price and in my opinion is well worth the money. This book is ideal for reading to your baby when they are too young to read themselves, but it is also suitable for slightly older children to read themselves as they learn to read. Jayden enjoys it when I read this story to him and will sit on my lap and listen, looking at the pictures and reaching out and touching them as I read. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone, it is suitable for both boys and girls and is a lovely story to share with your little one.
Well after the usual christmas choas I have been trying to sort out the childrens toys and going through the bookshelf I found this book that we haven't read in while. Availibility Our daughter saw this book in our local Tesco when we were shopping and asked to buy this with her pennies as she liked the look of the teddy on the front, the book cost £3.79 although the RRP of the book is £3.99. I have had a look on Amazon and found that this book is available in paperback, hardback and a board book although strangely the paperback book is the more expensive of the three. Book Information The book is written by Claire Freedman who is also the author of "Aliens Love Underpants" and illustrated by Daniel Howarth who illustrates lots of books with animals as the main characters rather than people. The book was published by Gullane Childrens books in 2010 so the book hasn't been around for very long. The book is quite a large book being around 10 inches square which I like as I prefer to read the bigger childrens books so we can all see the book without a tug o war. The front Cover The front cover shows two bears having a cuddle at bedtime, there is a Mummy Bear and then the little bear is in the bed and they both have their eyes closed as if they are really enjoying their nighttime cuddle. The background of the book is dark showing it is nighttime and then the name of the book is written in white lettering across the top of the bookm so it stands out yet the author and illustrator details are written in black and tucked to the side of the book so they are not very noticeable. I think the front cover of the book is really cute and this was the reason my daughter picked it off the shop shelves so I know it attracted her. The Story The book begins with Mummy Bear collecting Baby Bear who is playing outside in the woods and telling baby it is time for bed. They walk through the woods and see Fluffy Fox having his bath in his home to which Baby Bear says "just like my bath-time" but Mummy Bear tells him that his bath-time is extra special although baby cannot work out why. Next the bears pass by Bunny Burrow where Little Bouncy Bunny is having a bedtime story "just like our story time" Baby Bear says to which he is told that their story time is happy special. Next the bears pass by Hedgehog's Holllow where Little Huggy Hedgehog is being tucked into bed by his Mummy "just like when you put me to bed" says Baby Bear to which he is told that his bedtime is cosy special. Finally they pass Vole's Hole where Little Roly Vole is having goodnight cuddles "just like my goodnight cuddles" says Baby Bear to which he is told his goodnight cuddles are even more snuggly special. The Bears reach Bear Cave and then bBaby Bear has a bath and reads a story with Mummy Bear, next Baby Bear climbs into bed and asks his Mummy why his bedtime is extra special to which Mummy Bear tells him it's because it is spent with him and it's him that is the extra special part to which they snuggle together and Baby Bear closes his eyes. The Pictures The pictures in this book are simply beautiful, the pictures capture everything the author describes and more, in the woods there are little leaves floating up from beneath Baby Bears feets as he runs and little toadstools tucked away in the grass. The detailing of these pictures is beautiful and the illustrator has captured the shadowing from the lights brilliantly. I love the pictures and so does my daughter we spend time when we read this book pointing out what we can see in the pictures such as a little bumble bee sat upon a blade of grass. The pictures take up the whole of the pages and sometimes cross over a double page with the writing fitted in a suitable place yet on other pages pictures are drawn within circular frames, it makes you feel like a great deal of thought and effort has gone into these pictures. Our Thoughts We both love this book, the book is easy to read and has some lovely wording such as "shadowy woods" and "swaying trees" we take time to point out what the words are describing making story time much more interactive. The story isn't too short as we find with some books as my daughter is getting older and has about 6 lines to a page and has 10 double pages so it is long enough for my daughter to enjoy one on one time with myself or her father. The pictures capture everything in the story and more and the price of this book is more than reasonable. One thing I love about this book is it is very similar to our own routine at home and I like to compare it to our own actions. A very beautiful book with lovely text to read and pictures to look at, greatly recommended.