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As a mum of two girls, all of us 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 is a really nice one with a sweet sentiment to it.
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 Little Bear wants to play and wants Big Bear ti play with him, but Big Bear has jobs to do - don't we all! So, Little Bear offers to help Big Bear with his jobs - he helps fetch water and fire wood, to tidy the cave and put away his toys. When Little Bear has helped all he can he goes and plays by himself while Big Bear finishes up. After a while Big Bear has finished and comes out of the Bear Cave to find Little Bear and have a rest - he even nods off on a big rock! Little Bear wakes Big Bear up and they have lost f fun playing hide and seek together until it is time to go in and have supper and bedtime.
This story has a really lovely sentiment to it - that it is always much more fun playing games when you are happy and sure that all your jobs have been done first. It encourages a good work ethic and shows children that life cannot be fun and play all day, that jobs and chores all need to be done.
As always the illustrations are adorable and the story ends with Big Bear and Little Bear snug and safe in their Bear Cave.
This would make a great story for a child who isn't very keen on doing chores etc - it would encourage them to help out with the jobs to free up their parents to have more fun, I think!
You and me little bear
Anyone who has "met" Big Bear and Little Bear before will thoroughly enjoy this the third story about the two bears. If you haven't read the previous two books, not to worry- this is a stand alone story and not dependent on previous knowledge of the bears.
~~Story and Illustrations~~
The story focuses (not surprisingly) on a big bear and a small bear. We meet our two main characters on the first double page spread when little Bear wants to play but big Bear can't join in because he has things to do. There we see Big Bear with his brush in his hand about to tidy the bear cave, while Little Bear drags at the basket and looks hopeful.
Little Bear offers to help get the firewood, and the double page spread shows Little Bear carefully carrying his small pile of wood. They get the water together, and while Little bear carries a small cup to the water fall, Big Bear carries to large buckets ready to be filled. Little Bear is now convinced that they will be able to play but of course, things need to be tidied away. Big Bear tells Little Bear to tidy his things away and when he finishes and goes to Big Bear, he is disappointed to find that big Bear is still busy and can't play.
Little Bear plays all the games he can think of on his own- a series of delightful small pictures on the double page spread shows us his games. When he goes to find Big bear, Big Bear has fallen asleep! Of course when he wakes up Big Bear, they play all the bear games they can think of until the sun goes down.
We leave then at the end of the story with Little Bear looking adoringly up at Big Bear and telling him that they had a lovely day just playing and being...together.
~~Other bits of information~~
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd (1996)
~~Other books by the same author~
Let's Go Home, Little Bear
Sleep Tight, Little Bear
Cup Final Kid
Sam Vole and His Brothers
Can't You Sleep Little Bear
A lovely book with a theme which children will find it easy to relate to- asking an adult to play and then waiting till it happens! The whole situation is very cosy,and children are sure to notice details such as the half eaten apple core on the bedside table. When they are outside, the scene is quite idyllic, and children may comment (as I have known) that on one picture the leaves are green (spring/summer) and then they are definitely reds and orange colours. A certain level of observation skills and seasonal knowledge are needed for this and it in no way detracts from the appeal of the story.
The Bears in the story look very cuddly, smiley and friendly and are sure to appeal to children of all ages.
Because of its simple and familiar storyline and appealing pictures, this is suitable for even pre school children.
I would recommend this book to anyone with young children.
Thanks for reading.
Daniela x x
A while ago my daughter and I read a book called 'Can't you sleep, Little Bear?' by Martin Waddell, and enjoyed it so much that I was really pleased when I found a whole set of 'little bear' books because I knew she was bound to enjoy them. This book - 'You and Me, Little Bear' is an adorable little picture book telling the story of the relationship between Big Bear and Little Bear and of what happens in one day in their lives.
The story is really quite a simple one, but that is good for young children. The story starts with Little Bear, like most little people, asking Big bear if they can play together. However, Big Bear, like most big people, has a host of jobs that has to be done around the house. There is wood to be fetched, water to be collected from the stream and the cave to be tidied. Little Bear offers to help which Big Bear thinks is great and when they are setting out to do each job he says to Little Bear - 'You and Me'. This is obviously why the book has its title and my daughter loves this element of repetition because she is able to join in each time.
After a while Big bear carries on with the jobs while Little Bear starts to play some lovely games - 'bear slide', 'bear-tricks with bear-sticks' and 'bear stand on his head'. We always seem to have a diversion from the story telling at this point because my daughter likes to have a go at all the games too - especially the standing on her head!
Finally, the jobs are done and Big Bear thinks that there might be time for a rest but Litle Bear has other ideas - now it is time to play! They have a great game of hide and seek as well as lots of other bear games before the sun starts to go down and it is time to go back to the cave. On the way home, Big Bear remarks that it has been a really good day to which Litle Bear replies 'It was lovely, Big Bear. Just you and me, playing!'
This is a nice straightforward end to a lovely simple story, and I like the way that the words in the title appear right at the end, rounding the story off well. All the language in the story is very simple which I think is good as it really makes it accessible to young children. On every page the story is accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Barbara Firth. These are sort of hazy and muted which tend to give a dream-like feel to the whole book. There is also a lot of attention to detail in all of the pictures providing lots of talking points for young children.
I really like this book because it tells of a really close relationship between an adult and a child. It is interesting to note that throughout the story there is no indication as to whether the two bears are male or female. I suspect that this is deliberate as it certainly provokes discussion. My daughter and I just cannot decide!
I also like the fact that it covers what is always quite a sticky moment for lots of parents - how do you share your time between your children and the thousand and one jobs that have to be done around the house? I find that referring to this story helps when I need to get on with jobs when my daughters want to play. I remind them that Big Bear has to do jobs too, and sometimes I can even get them to 'help'!
Because there is quite a lot of repetition in the story, I think this really starts to bring on my daughter's reading and story telling skills. She definitely is starting to recognise some of the words that appear quite frequently, and she is also able to retell the story in her own words (which she loves being able to do)
So overall, this is a very entertaining little story book which I am sure most young children would enjoy. My older daughter is just four and really finds it accessible but my two year old also enjoys the story.
'You and Me, Little Bear' is published by Walker books and has a RRP of £5.99 for the paperback version. However, ours was bought as part of a set of five books through The Book People for less than £10 which is very good value!
Martin Waddell has written quite a few books over the years including this immensely popular series of Little Bear stories. He has won many awards for his fantastic storybooks including a Smarties Award for Cant You Sleep, Little Bear.
Barbara Firth is the illustrator for this book. She is a big part of making this series so successful with her lovely realistic drawings of animals.
The story begins,
Once there were two bears,
Big Bear and Little Bear.
Big Bear is the big bear
and Little Bear is the little bear.
Little Bear wanted to play, but
Big Bear had things to do.
As we turn the pages we see that Big Bear has lots of jobs to do, including getting wood for the fire, collecting water and cleaning up the house. Luckily Little Bear is there to help and working together they get the jobs done.
There is still a lot of clearing up to do so Big Bear suggests that Little Bear goes to play by himself for a while. This is just what he does and has lots of fun playing different bear games.
When he returns he finds that Big Bear is fast asleep after sitting down for a couple of minutes rest. As all Little Bears do, he wakens Big Bear up and they decide that its time to play together again. At the end of the day and the end of the book, Big Bear and Little Bear return home.
Weve been busy today, Little Bear! said Big Bear.
It was lovely, Big Bear, Little Bear said. Just you and me playing
The drawings in this book are lovely to look at. The bears are drawn with remarkable clarity and although they do things that real bears obviously dont do in the wild, they still look very realistic when they are playing and jumping around. The other background details are also drawn beautifully.
This is actually the first Little Bear book that weve had from the library and although Ive read many reviews on other books in the series, I havent actually seen one up close before, which is surprising considering the amount of childrens books that my family have kept me busy with over the years.
This book shows a lovely bond between the two bears and it is a reminder to many parents that children love to help with tasks around the house, just because it is a way of sharing in their time. It also shows children that sometimes, Big Bears have to get on with some jobs by themselves too and that the best way to help is by playing nicely on their own.
Although Big Bear is tired out after a hard days cleaning, there is little hesitation when deciding to play games at the end of it with Little Bear. This reminds me of when my sons father comes in from work tired out and he is instantly bombarded by tales of what has happened during the day and questions about what they can play with before bedtime.
All this makes for a very realistic book that any child (and parent) will be able to relate to. It is a simple story of how sharing chores can be almost as much fun as sharing games and shows that it is the quality time spent together that is most important.
In the busy world we live in, its easy to feel too tired to be bothered with this bonding time but its worth remembering that often the parent can have just as much fun as the child and that children desperately need this special time, as this book shows in such a lovely way.
***Other Little Bear Stories***
Cant You Sleep, Little Bear?
Lets Go Home, Little Bear
Sleep Tight, Little Bear
Well Done, Little Bear
***Price & Availability***
The paperback version of this book sells for £5.99 but is available from Tesco for only £4.49. It is also available in hardback form for £8.99 but again Tesco comes in with the cheaper price of £6.74.
Paperback ISBN No. 1844284948
Hardback ISBN No. 1854305237
Big Bear needs to gather wood, fetch water and tidy the Bear Cave. Little Bear wants to play. Little Bear patiently plays all his bear games by himself, but when Big Bear takes a break, instead of playing with Little Bear, he falls asleep! With fond understanding, Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth create another classic tale that rings true with familiar feelings for children as it offers parents a gentle reminder to make time to play. As with their previous collaborations, Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth have combined their talents to create a warm and enjoyable tale which gently reminds us of our real priorities.