Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep

Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep

Jane Yolen , Heidi Elisabet Yolen Stemple
Illustrator:  Brooke Dyer 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
HarperCollins, 2007   ISBN: 978-0060815608

It is winter time and the nights are long and cold. It is time for sleep and the black bear is hibernating in its den underneath the big tree. It is warm and snug there even though the "hills are bare and steep" and there the bear will stay until spring arrives and it is time to "rise and go."

The bear is not the only creature who is asleep. There are many others. There is the frog snug in its bed beneath the ice. There are the bats wearing their night caps hanging upside down in their cave. There is the gopher in its burrow having a little snack and resting. And let's not forget madam skunk resting in her boudoir snoring peacefully until spring wakes her up.

Children will find this wonderful picture book hard to resist as they share a winter sleep with animals of all kinds. They will smile as they see the toad dozing in his library under the mud of a pond, and as they watch the busy beaver nodding off with his hammer still held in one paw. There is also the box turtle who naps in a hammock wearing his boxing gloves.

Gentle rhymes and touches of humour combined with charming illustrations make this a perfect book to share at bedtime. Children will especially love to see that they are not forgotten in this bedtime tale. A sleeping child is there too on the first and last pages, sleeping deeply and drifting off in a beautiful snow filled world.