January 25, 2013

Sleepy Bears

Illustrated by Kerry Argent

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‘The days were growing darker and colder.
Mother Bear shivered and called to her children.

“Come in, come in, my beautiful bears!
Winter is here and in winter we sleep.”

“Bedtime already?” cried the bears as they tumbled inside.
“Oh, yes,” said Mother Bear.
“But there’s plenty of time
For your own special rhyme,
If you climb into bed and snuggle in tight,
Without any fuss and without any fight.”

So the little bears jumped into the soft feather bed
and pulled up the covers as fast as they could…’

When I first thought of re-writing Goodnight, Sleep Tight—after the first print-run was pulped!—I tried several ideas. What I really wanted was to provide children with enough rhymes to set them happily on the road to reading. I was going to include well-known nursery rhymes, (which I did in the last, most recent and best version of Goodnight, Sleep Tight.) And then I thought of writing my own rhymes, one for each bear in a large family. The rhymes are the based on the fantasies of each bear: pirates, explorers, circus performers, queens, gluttons and so on.  I love reading this book to my three-year old grandson (2013) because the last verse seems to provide him with deep comfort and ‘snugness’. He adores it.

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