Night time can be scary for the bravest of bears, but for baby bear all snuggled up warm, a loud noise in the middle of the night, causes him to wake the rest of the family. Baby Bear is sure there must be a monster about, but Father Bear says that if that is so, the whole family will go out looking for that monster. Father Bear takes a lantern, and the family, Mother Bear, Grace and Ben and Baby Bear, all follow along. As they walk along the path, Mother Bear gets caught in a tree, and nobody notices she is not there.
The adventure continues to unfold, with Daddy laughing and saying, “Nothing can frighten a bear.” The humour of the situation begins to become apparent as the family wends its way through the forest, with the last in line dropping off. Baby Bear is really tired by now and wants to go back to bed. He and Dad notice that the other members of the family are missing, and fear the worst. The resolution is funny and all of the bears are reassured, and satisfied with the logical explanation.
The gentle colours of the illustrations and the small creatures who peep out at the bears help to soften the anxiety that Baby Bear feels. The lantern casts a soft light over the scene, again soothing any worried feelings. Father Bear is seen sucking his thumb, but quickly regains his composure when the truth is revealed. The text rhymes, and the repeated phrase, “Nothing can frighten a bear,” is on nearly every page. Small blocks of text are on each page, and words vary in size according to the ROAR.
The humour in the text and illustrations will ensure that the reader understands that the scariest things are in the mind, not in the real world. As a large paper back picture book, this will be appreciated by members of the family who read, and those who are read to. There are many tiny details to peep at while waiting for the story to unfold.
A very special bedtime book.
|Author||Elizabeth Gale, illustrated by Paula Metcalfe|