bearsdontreadBears Don’t Read!
Emma Chichester Clark
(HarperCollins Children’s Books)

The story of George the Bear who discovers there is more to life than doing usual bear things after finding a book in the forest, this a wonderful tale of how life-changing learning to read can be. Teamed with Emma Chichester Clark’s glorious artwork, which adorned with her signature beautiful patterns (the garden scene is particularly fabulous), this story might be fantastical but it does not shy away from the fact that learning to read is challenging, which will give to solace to many a little learner reader. Bears Don’t Read! has a real classic story feel to it, with a furry hero which readers will root for. A gorgeous, comforting read.

Buy Bears Don’t Read




princesssleepyheadPrincess Sleepyhead and the Night-Night Bear
Peter Bently (text) & Laura Ellen Anderson (illustrations)
(Orchard Books)

Peter Bently’s delightful rhyming text and Laura Ellen Anderson’s zany artwork team up to tell the story of a princess who will just not go to sleep and a cuddly bear who comes to her rescue by reading her a bedtime story. An ode to the comfort of bedtime stories, this is such a fun book, which is a delight to read aloud. Despite focusing on a princess (I am so glad Orchard got rid of the pink cover for the paperback edition ), this will be enjoyed by all. Laura Ellen Anderson’s artwork is bursting with fun and verve, but the two utterly gorgeous double spreads showing the castle in the distance (one at the beginning, one at the end) help set this book in the fairy-tale tradition with great success.

Buy Princess Sleepyhead and the Night-Night Bear



nobearsNo Bears
Meg McKinlay (text) & Leila Rudge (illustrations)
(Walker Books)

In this gorgeously illustrated  story, a little girl called Ruby is adamant that bears should NOT be included in stories. She is sick of bears. And she is in charge of this book, she begins to tell the story about princesses, faraway castles, fairy godmothers. But NO BEARS. Unbeknown to her however, a Bear is hanging around, and he might just be the one one the saves the day, and the story. Young audiences love to know something that the characters do not and they will love witnessing the Bear sneaking into the story while Ruby stubbornly goes on about bears NOT being included. With intertuextual links to  characters from the children’s literature canon such as Little Red Riding Hood and the Owl and the Pussy Cat and the metafictive book-in-a-book features, this is a lovely story which will encourage lots of interaction and will delight fans of Emily Gravett’s Wolves, particularly as it provides a much happier resolution!
Buy No Bears