Friday, January 13, 2012

Can't You Sleep Little Bear

We have been in business for two years and as many of you know when we first opened the doors our shelves had a lot of empty spaces on them.  I have had a wonderful time adding new releases but probably even more enjoyable has been the search for the perfect backlist titles that I want to make a permanent part of our inventory and that I know I can always enthusiastically recommend.

This is particularly true in our childrens section.  There are so many books to evaluate: different genres, dozens of series, commercially popular characters.  They come in all sizes and shapes, there are books for early readers, chapter books, picture books for all ages and oh, my, where to begin and end.

As a part of this search I was pleased to discover a series of podcasts offered through iTunesU featuring David Beagley and his classes on Children's Literature from LaTrobe University.  When discussing picture books, Beagley used "Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?" as an example. His description of this story and the illustrations about Big Bear and Little Bear intrigued me enough that I ordered a copy for the store.

I have fallen in love with this wonderful little picture book.  The story is simple enough -- Little Bear can't sleep because he's afraid of the dark.  After several attempts of banishing the dark with lanterns increasing in size and brilliance, Big Bear "saw that Little Bear was right" and he "thought about it for a long time" but as we find out Big Bear finally has an idea and is able to make Little Bear feel so safe that "he didn't say anything, for he had gone to sleep, warm and safe in Big Bear's arms."

The recent publishing sensation of "Go the F**k to Sleep" (available as an ebook here) is based on the same familiar tribulations which parents often experience at nighttime when putting their little angels to bed, but I definitely prefer Big Bear's patient way of dealing with his growing but very visible frustration as he tries to finish his book but is interrupted over and over again by a Little Bear that just doesn't want to go to sleep.  This story will be loved by the little one -- there is enough repetition to allow them to follow along -- and the adult reading the book will empathize with Big Bear and be able to recognize their own resignation at the loss of a quiet evening to themselves.

The edition we carry comes with a CD that can be used in a variety of ways.  Some interactive activities are included and the story is read in a couple different ways that parents can use in a variety of situations.  The paperback book is sturdy and the pictures large enough to be easily viewed and read by adult and child.  You can find other editions at our online store located here

No comments: