Bear Stays Up For Christmas (Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman)

Hello, friends! Well, it’s the penultimate book in the holiday countdown, and we’ve picked a great one for Christmas Eve: Bear Stays Up For Christmas, written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman. This sweet story follows Wilson and Chapman’s popular Bear and his friends as they prepare for Christmas Day.

Bear’s friends have made decision: this year, they are going to wake their friend Bear from hibernation so that he can enjoy the Christmas holiday with them. And while it’s tough to wake a hibernating bear (and even tougher to keep him awake!), the friends are insitent – Christmas is a time to be together, and they don’t want for Bear to be left out. As the day goes by, the friends prepare for Christmas in all the usual ways: getting and decorating a tree, making yummy goodies, singing carols. As the day wanes, the friends all begin to stretch and yawn themselves – they’re so sleepy from all their work! One by one, they nod off until… only Bear is left awake. Grinning, Bear is delighted – now he can work on presents for all his friends, and perhaps have a very special visitor…

I have yet to read one of the Bear books that isn’t an absolute delight, and this one keeps the tradition alive. Sweet, kind, whimsical and wondrous, Bear and his friends are as cheerful and dedicated as always, and their adventures here are a festive treat that explores the Christmas theme of togetherness and friendship. Chapman’s illustrations are wonderful, using lifelike critter models and imbuing them with loads of personality and movement. The length is perfect, and JJ and I always love reading about Bear and company together. A wonderful Christmas story for a beloved cast of characters, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

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