No Sleep for Bear
I can’t believe we’ve not discovered Duncan Beedie’s books before. Having read No Sleep for Bear we had to request The Bear Who Stared from our library as we needed more of the loveable bear in our lives! If you’d like to enjoy The Bear Who Stared check out the video below from the author and illustrator Duncan Beedie.
You can discover other books by Duncan here.
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No Sleep for Bear is a book children will adore and many children (and parents/ carers) will be able to relate to when it comes to difficulties falling asleep. It’s a book that could be read any time of year but might be a lovely one for Autumn as you approach Winter.
No Sleep for Bear Synopsis
Bear can smell that Winter is coming as the leaves are turning and he’s looking forward to a long sleep. Bear makes a list to ensure he is prepared but even with everything ticked off, he still can’t fall asleep. He sees how his woodland friends Blackbird, Badger and Bat fall asleep and try to copy them with little success. Could Frog have the simplest idea of all to help Bear go to sleep?
Hibernation Topic Link
After reading the opening spread my five year old and I discussed what bear meant by ‘…a very long sleep indeed.’ This would be a great opportunity to discuss hibernation, other animals that hibernate, why animals hibernate etc.
Duncan Beedie’s Humorous Style
On this first spread we also get a hint of Duncan Beedie’s subtle humour in his illustrations as there is a little micro image of a couple of ladybirds toasting marshmallows over a campfire – Floss loved this! Can you spot them?
There are more ladybird antics to enthrall you through the book especially on one of our favourite spreads as the friends are trying to help transport Bear! Being fellow bookworms here we fell head over heels for one little worm in the book too.
Duncan uses delicious vocabulary carefully so as to allow young readers to understand the meaning through the rest of the sentence and images on the page. Text such as – ‘A cluster of fireflies hovered over the pond.’ and ‘…He swooned and he swayed…’ were favourites for us.
Draw Along Inspiration
Expressions on the faces of characters is something my little one has become fascinated by since attending a draw along session with Hannah Shaw. Do check out Hannah’s website here.
She’s particularly interested in conveying how a character is feeling through their eyes and therefore loved all of the different ways that Duncan simply, yet expertly shows bear and other characters’ emotions through their eyes.
If you’re feeling inspired by Duncan’s illustrations he has his own draw along series that you can discover here. Here’s one below for learning how to draw Bear.
Her two favourite images are the first one when he’s still awake in the morning and how glum Bear looks and the one where he is precariously balanced at the top of a tree trying to sleep like a bird.
Bear loves lists and this book would make a lovely introduction to writing lists for early mark makers. We loved that his lists started off quite ordered until towards the end of the book where his ideas were much more free.
It didn’t go unnoticed by us of the alliteration used by Duncan for the first three creatures who Bear tries to emulate. You could have some fun making your own list of new characters based around a different letter.
I do love endpapers and at the front of the book we have the falling Autumnal leaves contrasted by snowdrops bursting forth on the back of the book endpapers. Such a gentle way to show the passage of time through the book.
It’s a highly recommend from us for No Sleep for Bear. Thank you to Templar Books for our review copy and for inviting us to be part of the book tour – #NoSleepForBear.
If you love a bear book then do check out a 2022 release The Best Bear Tracker. You can find my review of John Condon’s latest book illustrated by Julia Christians here.