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Bearable literature for kids

Bear Snores On
Bear Snores On
Karma Wilson, Jane Chapman

For some reason or other, many children's stories center around bears.

No- really. Think about this for a second.

  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • The Berenstein Bears
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

And let's not forget the all-time favorite, I Want My Hat Back.

For some reason or other, bears have been one of the main creatures chosen to make effective children's books; they're easily portrayed as bigger animals, which can make them scary, but works just as effectively when the "gentle giant" trait is written into them. Traditional children's stories about bears make them fuzzy, warm, kind and in many cases, parental.

Another example of a bear story that bears many of those prior traditional bear-qualities, titled "Bear Snores On," written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman. It's a lovely story set in the deep, still January winter, a time when it feels almost impossible to get warm. Without the bear's blissful escape of hibernation, it becomes difficult for other animals to deal with the weather.

In the book, the reader is privy to the bedside of a slumbering bear who has spent the winter alone, asleep in his den. Though a blizzard raged outside, ensuring he does not stay alone (or asleep!) for long. A mouse, chilled to the bone, is the first to seek shelter from the bitter cold and made a small fire from spare twigs and leaves to keep himself warm.

Other small woodland animals such as a rabbit, a mole, and a groundhog follow suite with the mouse, bringing with them more wood for the fire, bits of food to share, and even some music.

The evening is spent in warmth and merriment among the forest friends, and soon, Bear's den (unknown to him). Between the music, laughter, and chatter, the noise becomes too much and Bear wakes with a loud roar. At first, he becomes upset that they were in his den and that they hadn't woken him sooner, but they eagerly say he can join in the fun. By the time the sun rises, everyone is asleep but Bear.

The story is cute, simple, and demonstrates how important it is to include others in the fun. It's great to read to kids before bed with the vivid, glowing illustrations flowing from page to page.

For more information on the book, check out this link!