The Barnes & Noble Review
From talented author Amy Hest and illustrator Anita Jeram of the bestselling Guess How Much I Love You comes a warm tale about one little bear's bedtime.
Little Sam waits patiently as his mom gets him ready for bed. Mrs. Bear reads his favorite book, tucks him in, and gives him warm milk. But there's one thing missing. "Ready now, Sam?" "Oh, no, I'm waiting." After a little thought Mrs. Bear remembers -- a kiss good night. She showers Sam with kisses and then gives him more.
Gorgeous illustrations offer readers a glimpse into this glowing and happy family. Rustic autumn colors evoke the warmth of the house, in contrast with the blustering wind and rain outside. And the sight of Mrs. Bear would make anybody cozy -- her soft green sweater and warm brown fur inspire yawns and smiles. Her gentle behavior while tucking in Sam and giving him kisses will comfort reluctant sleepers. And the adorable Sam will appeal to every reader, from his attentive and loving grin to his cute blue-striped pajamas and stuffed animal friends.
This touching story reveals the many talents of Hest and Jeram, from the smooth and rhythmic text to cozy illustrations. Readers will be content to drift off to sleep, safe and secure like our little Sam. (Amy Barkat)
Hest (When Jessie Came Across the Sea) pays tribute to reassuring bedtime rituals that assuage a toddler's fears even on a "dark and stormy night." Sam the bear cub will not go to sleep. "I'm waiting," he keeps telling Mrs. Bear, even though she's checked off everything on the bedtime list: book, blanket, friends (his stuffed toys) and milk. Then it dawns on Sam's mom that she's forgotten the kiss good night. Sam manages to coax a total of 10 goodnight kisses from Mom. With understated repetition and lyricism, Hest establishes the coziness of the nighttime interplay as well as the menacing sounds of the storm from inside Sam's bedroom: "Splat! on the roof. Splat! Splat! on the windows. The wind blew. Whoo, whoooo." Jeram moves from the light palette and breezy artwork in Guess How Much I Love You to thickly applied acrylic paintings. Her radiantly rendered ochre and rust shades translate easily from the autumn storm outside to the sturdy furniture and heavy wool blankets inside. While her characters' expressions seldom change, she uses their contrasting physical presence to great effect. The hulking Mrs. Bear is a literal bulwark of maternal devotion, while Sam's roly-poly poses comically communicate his coy devotion. Ages 2-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
It is a dark and stormy night and Little Bear is having trouble going to sleep. His mother reads his favorite book, tucks him into bed with his red blanket and his stuffed animal friends, and drinks warm milk with him. Little Bear responds to each of these activities with, "I'm waiting." Finally, Mrs. Bear gives him good night kisses and he falls asleep. Jeram's large colorful pictures contribute to the coziness of this book. Perfect for bedtime. 2001, Candlewick Press, $15.99. Ages 1 to 5. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer
School Library Journal
PreS-K-Hest begins this sweet bedtime tale with, "It was a dark and stormy night on Plum Street" and Jeram's luminous folk paintings show a small, worried bear peering out the window at the wind-hurled leaves. The scene switches to inside his bedroom, golden in the lamplight, where Mrs. Bear is trying to put her son to sleep. The repetitive phrasing in each sequence, bound to delight young ones, is: "`Ready now, Sam?' `Oh, no,' said Sam. `I'm waiting.'" Mrs. Bear wracks her brain for every detail of their bedtime routine. They read their favorite book. They arrange the youngster's stuffed animals and drink some warm milk, while the wind blows, "Whoo, whoooo." Finally Mrs. Bear thinks to ask, "what did I forget?" "You know," says Sam. And, after a moment's thought, she does-as will every child who has absorbed the title of the book. This is an enchanting little story, with homey illustrations that add to its appeal. It will be particularly reassuring to read aloud on those dark and stormy nights.-Susan Weitz, Tompkins County Public Library, Ithaca, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
A Child Magazine Best Book of 2001 Pick
"Book, blanket, friends, milk" -- what's missing from the Bear family's tuck-in ritual? Sam waits patiently until finally Mrs. Bear says, "Oh, I know! Kiss good night, Sam!" The finale is so satisfying that it calls for an encore. "Again!" Sam says, as will readers of this cozy story.