Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sleep well, Little Bear by Quint Buchholz

Sleep well, Little Bear is not a new book (originally written in German in 1993)  but it is a new addition to my school library.  It reminded me of Humphrey's bear by Jan Whal illustrated by William Joyce.

"In the evening, the little bear took off his apple trousers and put on his star pyjamas.  He had heard a long good-night story.  He had said a small prayer.  He had hummed along with a little sleep song.  He had been given five kisses."

I adore the idea of apple trousers.  Little Bear also has to put on his red sleeping socks, drink water from a blue cup and find someone to blow warm air under the covers of his bed to warm it up.  I imagine if you read this book at night you might blow some warm air too.

Even though he has followed his night time regime Bear is not tired.  So he builds a book staircase and looks out the window at the moon.  He remembers all the good things from his day.  Sailing on the lake, gardening with a neighbour, playing with a scarecrow and seeing the circus people arrive in town.

"A balloon with a letter hovers over the meadow.  It has travelled on a long, long journey. And soon it's going to land.  Who is the letter for?  Maybe the little bear will find out. Maybe tomorrow morning after he's had his sleep."

This is a perfect book to share with a young child at bedtime.  The illustrations are soft and comforting and the text is like a poem.  My favourite picture shows bear giving the moon a good-night kiss through the window.  The other aspect of this book that I appreciate is the sense of optimism.  Bear makes plans for the day ahead but then he wonders "But what if the sun doesn't come out tomorrow?  What if it's raining tomorrow?"  No need to worry bear puts a positive spin on this possibility - he will have a terrific day playing in the loft.  If you look carefully you can see his friend sitting with him,

But for the reader - the reader aloud - who finds his early dreams unearthed by the story, they are a confirmation of the all too easily forgotten knowledge that there is a world well worth living in, there between us and the near horizon

If you enjoy this book you should also look for the Little bear books by Martin Waddell.

No comments: