Author & Illustrator: Brett Helquist
Age Level: 3-6 years
Publishers: Harper Collins
Add Bedtime for Bear to your winter theme book series. The illustrator of the popular A Series of Unfortunate Events, Brett Helquist takes a very simple plot and makes it into an action packed adventure.
Winter arrives with the first snowfall and Bear is all ready to hibernate. He has his pajamas on and gets under the covers in his warm house under the tree. Just as he is about to doze off, his friends, the raccoons, want him to come outside and play with them. When Bear says no, the two play by themselves.
The raccoons are just too noisy as they make their snow angels and slide down the mounds of snow. Bear is not able to sleep through the din. A snowball lands on his window and Bear opens the door to tell the raccoons to be quiet. One raccoon throws a snowball at him, and Bear cries out, “LET ME SLEEP,” Then he steps out and trips on a tree root. Uh-Uh! When he trips, he slips and flips and tumbles down the hill with the raccoons.
Who can stay mad after that? So the three friends start laughing and playing together. They slide down the hill, build snowmen and throw snowballs at each other. In the end, Bear wants to play longer but the raccoons are too tired. The friends throw snowballs one last time and go home.
The text is simple and sparse, and the illustrations keep readers engaged. It is easy for young readers to remember the text and read to themselves. The expressions on the characters’ faces, the sense of energy and action in their play and the enjoyment appeals to children and adults. Bedtime for Bear is a good addition to the animals in winter unit.