No Sleep For Bear

No Sleep For Bear
Duncan Beedie
Templar Publishing

Duncan Beedie’s staring Bear returns in another droll, diverting episode.

With signs of the approach of winter, Bear is eagerly anticipating his long period of sleep, a very long one he thinks. Bear has a proclivity to make lists so the very first thing he does is list requirements for the perfect sleep and having written and ticked off same, he closes his eyes and … stays awake.

That’s not right he thinks as he spends a restless night till bird song reminds him it’s morning. Maybe a long walk might make me sleepy wonders Bear. He walks from sunrise till almost sunset and suddenly notices a Blackbird preparing to sleep by chirping tunefully. Could that work for me, Bear thinks. Soon, from the top of a tree comes a “GRROOWWOO!” followed by a great deal of fidgety fussing until morning comes.
Off goes Bear once more and noticing Badger busy burrowing into his sett for a cosy snooze, our ursine friend decides to try burrowing along behind. Talk about a squash and a squeeze.

Morning comes around again and Bear returns to his cave where he starts another of those lists. While so doing in flutters Bat and hangs itself up head downwards. It’s not one of Bear’s best ideas to try emulating Bat.

Out into the moonlit night he creeps, heading for the pond deeper in the forest. That’s where he comes upon Frog. Bear explains his plight and Frog comes up with an important point, the gist of which he proceeds to demonstrate. Bear copies Frog to the best of his ability, mindfully contemplating the sights and sounds of the darkness until finally he falls fast asleep. Great for Bear but not of course for the other forest dwellers that had been asleep too. Now what?

That would be telling, and Duncan’s last three superb spreads do it to perfection, about these I’ll only say, there’s another list and the need for some patience.

A terrific tongue-in-cheek offering with some fun alliteration to treat young listeners; but equally, adult readers aloud will relish Bear’s bodily contortions and expressions. Oh! those eyebrows – and not just those of Bear.

Every Bunny is a Yoga Bunny / Sweet Dreams, Bruno

Every Bunny is a Yoga Bunny
Emily Ann Davison and Deborah Allwright
Nosy Crow

Little bunny Yo-Yo finds it impossible to keep still and going to bed at night, she just can’t sleep. One day Grandpa has a bright idea: he’s going to teach them some yoga he tells the little ones. Roxy and Flo soon manage the bridge and mountain poses; not so Yo-Yo who waggles, wiggles and jiggles. And when it comes to trying tree, two little bunnies can do the breathing and the balancing whereas their sibling is distracted by a passing butterfly which she just has to follow.

Before long she’s lost in a shadowy forest and starts to panic. But then having flopped to the floor she begins to recall some of the things her Grandpa has taught her. First comes the slow breathing and as she calms down she recalls the yoga shapes she’s been shown

and with her thoughts no longer whizzing, she’s able to imagine the route that will take her all the way home. Once there she finds the others still doing yoga. Can she join them and this time, stay calm and still?

Following debut author Emily Ann Davison’s sweet story, are instructions and demonstrations by Yo-Yo of six yoga poses, to help young children breathe, stretch and feel calm. Deborah Allwright’s amusing illustrations made the yoga teacher part of me giggle as I recalled some of the Yo-Yos I’ve encountered in classes over the years.

Published in collaboration with the National Trust, there’s a QR code inside the front cover of the book which if scanned with a mobile provides a free reading of the book.

Sweet Dreams, Bruno
Knister and Eve Tharlet

Despite it being that time of year, young marmot, Bruno is reluctant to settle down for a long winter sleep. Various other of the animals offer alternatives: goat suggests spending winter climbing on
the slippery rocks; jackdaw says he can share her nest high up in a tree; he could brave the moggies in the farmhouse and move in with mouse, join hare and romp in the snow or even accompany the swallows and winter in Africa. However none of these are feasible for the little creature and with a yawn and a sigh, Bruno decides, “I guess everyone spends winter in their own way. For a marmot hibernation’s the best.” Bidding a temporary farewell to his friends, he settles down in his cosy den and falls fast asleep.

His dreams provide Bruno with the action and exciting adventures he eschewed in real life as he leaps from mountain top to mountain top – ‘Hooray!’, floats up to join jackdaw in her nest – ‘Amazing!’ and even accompanies mouse on a cat hunt – ‘Woo-hoo!’

There’s further fun too, lasting until voices break into his dreamworld as his friends call him to action for a long summer of togetherness.

Eve Tharlet’s seasonal scenes are at once naturalistic and whimsical adding gentle humour to Knister’s straightforward telling. A story for bedtime sharing or KS1 story sessions.