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A bear-y good bed time story

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In many households with young children, there is the never-ending battle of the inevitable- bed time.

In the opinion of a toddler, bed time is an absolute no-no. Not when there are so many other things to do and see. Who will play with their toys when they sleep? What happens during this mysterious “night,” when the stars come out and the moon is up? And why is it that, even though they’re never tired, they cannot stay up all night?

Christine Swift’s “Little Bear Won’t Sleep!” explores this idea. Through beautiful art by illustrator, Frank Endersby and Swift’s engaging, yet patient narrative, the reader is shown what happens when Little Bear doesn’t go to sleep as he’s told.
Upon his insistence that he can stay awake all night, Mother Bear allows Little Bear to stay awake. He adventures in a world covered with moonlight and discovers a host of animals, such as bats, owls, foxes, and many more who were just waking up.

After exploring and making friends, Little Bear (though he won’t admit it) starts to get sleepy and eventually, falls asleep on a log. A smiling Mother Bear takes him home for the night. When Little Bear wakes up the next morning, he goes to look for his night-time friends, but is disappointed to see that they’re nowhere to be found.

His mother explains that those kinds of animals really do stay up all night, that they don’t come out during the day. Later on, Little Bear’s friends come over and ask if he would like to play, but since he spent so much time awake the night before, Little Bear is taking a nap.

This book is excellent for before-nap or bed time reading. Though much of children’s literature is devoted to trying to get children to sleep, fewer books explore what happens when children stay up longer than they should. It’s important to explain to children (especially if they’re toddler age) why they need their sleep and what will inevitably happen if they don’t get the proper amount of rest.

For more information on “Little Bear Won’t Sleep,” check out this website.


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