Reviews for Sleep Tight, Little Bear

Booklist Reviews 2006 January #1
PreS-K. If Minarik and Sendak's Little Bear is the most cherished character by that name, then Firth and Waddell's must clock in at a close second. In his fifth picture book, winsome Little Bear discovers "his own little cave," perfect for a playhouse. With Big Bear's permission, he plays, eats, and prepares to camp out. Adults will recognize Big Bear's obvious mixed emotions as Little Bear tests his independence, while children will respond to the cub's delight in claiming a corner of his own, and, later, to the loneliness that eventually sends him dancing back into his guardian's lap. Waddell, the winner of the 2004 Hans Christian Andersen Medal, offers a lilting text with gently comic touches (Little Bear's housekeeping tasks include making his bed, then jumping on it), while Firth's expressive artwork, washed in muted tones of pebble, wood, and sky, harnesses the emotional undercurrents. This graceful addition to a popular series may have particular resonance for children in single-parent households. ((Reviewed January 1 & 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Spring
Little Bear turns a tiny cave into his own home. At night, when Little Bear comes down to see if Big Bear misses him, Big Bear pretends that the missing was only on his own side. Text and illustrations collaborate perfectly in this story that sums up the dance parents and children do--taking steps together and away from each other. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2006 #1
For every child who has turned a closet into a playroom or a table into a house comes the story of Little Bear, who turns the tiny cave he discovers into his own home. He makes a bed with sticks and leaves, and a large rock becomes a table with a log to sit on. Then Little Bear proudly shows his new cave to Big Bear, who helps him carry some of his precious belongings (a blanket, a lamp) up to the nearby hideaway. Little Bear happily works on his new home all day, and after tucking the cub in for the night, "Big Bear plodded all the way back to the Bear Cave alone, without Little Bear." Barbara Firth makes Big Bear's loneliness palpable in the dejected line of his shoulders and his heavy feet, and so the reunion of the two is all the sweeter when Little Bear comes down to see if Big Bear missed him. Big Bear kindly pretends that the missing was only felt on his own side, giving Little Bear just the opportunity he needs to abandon his big adventure: "I could stay here tonight so that you won't be lonely, Big Bear." Waddell and Firth collaborate perfectly in a bedtime story that sums up the dance parents and children do in taking steps together and away from each other throughout childhood, a dance that is felt keenly by bears large and small. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2005 October #2
This winning author/illustrator team scores again with their fifth tale of Big Bear and Little Bear. One day Little Bear discovers a cave that is just the right size for him and furnishes it with his bed, a table and a chair; he plays all day in his cave, reads his book, makes his bed and has his supper. Big Bear even gives him permission to sleep there, but once in bed, Little Bear begins to wonder if Big Bear is lonely without him. Climbing out of bed and back to Big Bear's cave, Little Bear says, "You forgot to read me my story." And naturally, he falls asleep in Big Bear's lap. The soft, expressive watercolors are delightfully engaging with some amusing subtle touches: Big Bear wears an apron; Little Bear's book is 3 Ursi; and his stuffed toy is a bulbous-nosed, red-stocking-capped "teddy boy." The simple text and charming illustrations are perfectly paired for this peek into a child/bear's playhouse world that's reassured by home, a shared bedtime story and friendship. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2005 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2005 December #2
Several favorite characters and series continue this fall. Sleep Tight, Little Bear by Martin Waddell, illus. by Barbara Firth, bring back the duo first introduced in Can't You Sleep, Little Bear? Here Little Bear discovers a new cave, "little-bear-size or just a bit bigger," and asks Big Bear if he can stay in his new hideaway. But they both discover how much they miss each other. A DVD is included. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2005 December

PreS-K -Little Bear's many fans will be happy to see this charming new title. When the cub finds a small cave, it seems just the right size for him. He sets up house there, with Big Bear's reassuring presence nearby. At bedtime, he asks to sleep alone in his new home, and Big Bear agrees. Then, "Big Bear plodded all the way back to the Bear Cave alone, without Little Bear." The accompanying illustration demonstrates how much Firth's work adds to this simply written and graceful story. Big Bear is seen from behind, walking away, holding a lantern; he's a beacon of light and safety as a soft darkness falls over the forests and mountains. The artist's compositions add a subtle kind of originality, and the soft colors and artful lines add appeal, character, and atmosphere. Preschoolers respond to stories about the tension between independence and protection. While this one does not break new ground, it is a stellar example of its kind.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL

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