Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Bear Snores On

Bear Snores On

Karma Wilson
Illustrator:   Jane Chapman 
Picture Book  Series
For ages 3 to 5
Simon and Schuster, 2002   ISBN: 978-0689831874

It is a cold and bitter winter with snow and howling winds and in a cave in the woods a brown bear is cuddled up, sleeping soundly. No matter how loudly those winds howl "the bear snores on."

A mouse comes into the cave and builds a fire, and as it does so it too makes noise but the bear continues to sleep on. Even the arrival of a hare, who burps loudly, a badger who brings crunchy (and noisy) nuts to eat, and four other animals, does not arouse the bear. It is only a fleck of pepper that makes the bear sneeze which ends his slumber.

The author of this charming book builds up the pace of the story beginning very slowly with the little mouse. Then more and more animals arrive in the bear’s den and the noise gets louder and louder until there is that great sneeze. Then... well, then the bear is most displeased at being left out of all the jollification and something has to be done to make him feel better.

With warm and soft paintings, easy rhymes, and a lilting rhythm, this book begs to be read out loud on a chilly winter evening. After a few readings a listening child will certainly want to join in with all the sound effects.