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"I can't stand THIS!" - Poor Mr Bear!
Peace at Last - Jill Murphy
Member Name: karalouk
Peace at Last - Jill Murphy
Advantages: Enjoyable story, Good illustrations, Nostalgic
Peace At Last is a childrens story written and illustrated by Jill Murphy. Jill Murphy is also well known for creating The Worst Witch series of books and The Large Family picture books. Peace At Last was first published in 1980 and is a book which I have fond memories of reading with my parents when I was a child.
The book is A4 size and paperback. The front cover (and pages) are quite thin unfortunately, so make sure you look after your copy! On the front cover is a large and rather cute picture of Mr and Mrs bear tucked up in bed.
The story is fun and simple. It begins at night time, all of the Bear family are tired and decide to go to bed. Mrs Bear falls to sleep straight away but her loud snoring prevents Mr Bear from sleeping, so he tries to sleep in Baby Bears bedroom but his aeroplane noises are too noisy, so he goes to the living room to try to sleep but the clock is tick-tocking too loudly, so he goes to sleep in the kitchen but the kitchen tap drips too much and the fridge hums too loudly. Mr Bear decides to sleep in the garden but there are all sorts of noises - an twit-twooing owl, a snuffling hedgehog, a meowing cat. Mr Bear finally begins to get to sleep in his cold and uncomfortable car when the birds begin to sing and the sun shines through his window, so he goes back indoors where Baby Bear is asleep and Mrs Bear is no longer snoring. He gets in to bed, closes his eyes before muttering the book title to himself 'Peace at last'. Very soon after the alarm clock goes off and Mrs Bear asks a tired Mr Bear if he had a good night! She brings a tired Mr Bear a cup of tea in bed, whilst Baby Bear jumps on the bed with the mornings post (I like the fact that although Mr Bear has had a terrible night and is very tired, he still has a smile on his face. I don't think I would have been so forgiving!).
The illustrations are lovely and enjoyable to look at. Each page has a full colourful picture and there are even black and grey pictures on the text pages (these give you more of an idea of what Mr Bear is getting up to).
My daughter (who is now 5) regularly asks for this book at bedtimes and has done so for a couple of years. It's just the right length and it's a nice, enjoyable, easy going story for settling down to. My daughter is usually captivated until the end and giggles at Mr Bears attempts at finding some peace. As she has now begun reading, she is also interesting in helping me read the book - there is a lot of repetition and a lot of small words (E.g. was, and, the, baby, so, all, bed, to, fell, this, went, he, went, in, be, got, up, cats, car, off, cold, birds, at, sun, cup, she, did) which is great for beginners. I think this book would be enjoyed best between 2-6 years. I also enjoy this story for nostalgic reasons.
Peace At Last is available at most good book shops and book schemes and the RRP is £5.99, but you can usually find it cheaper in most places. I thoroughly recommend!
Summary: A timeless bedtime read.
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