Bear Can’t Sleep (Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Bear Can’t Sleep, the ninth(!) story in Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman’s beloved Bear Books series.

The winter snows have piled up high around Bear’s cave, and he is tucked under his warm quilt head-to-toe. A perfect setting for a perfect hibernation, but just one problem: Bear can’t sleep. He tosses and turns, stares at the wall, tries to relax, but nothing seems to help. Mouse pops in to check on his friend, and is shocked to find Bear awake! More of Bear’s familiar pals are drawn into the cave to help him relax – brewing mint tea, warm milk, lullabies, and so on – but he is only growing more grumpy and bored of trying to drift off. At last, he channels his frustration to a fun activity: telling his gathered friends a new story to pass the time. But as the story nears its end, his audience hears a small snore and smiles, tiptoeing out as the bear snores on.

As always, just delightful. Sweetly calling back to Bear Snores On – the first of the series and basically this book’s opposite in terms of plot – the massive, cuddly-looking Bear and all his woodland friends are back. Fans of the series will recognize the familiar rhythm of the text, which has a wonderfully soothing flow and is a pleasure to read aloud. The illustrations, using semi-realistic animals and Bear’s familiar cozy cave as setting, are simply adorable. The length is great, and this would make a marvelous bedtime book, especially as a companion to Bear Snores On. JJ also adores these books, both for the easily-imitated rhythm and the rich, warm artwork. A great addition to a stellar series, and Baby Bookworm approved!

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