Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep

( 1 )

Overview

When winter's snow creates a soft blanket of silence, nothing is more comforting than curling up under a cozy quilt. Whether slumber awaits in a warm bed, a rocking hammock, or a nest of leaves, the feeling of comfort and the infinite world of dreams are universal.

This reassuring lullaby will calm any child to sleep, while Brooke Dyer's gentle illustrations show that the little details in everyone's niche truly make a place into a home.

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Overview

When winter's snow creates a soft blanket of silence, nothing is more comforting than curling up under a cozy quilt. Whether slumber awaits in a warm bed, a rocking hammock, or a nest of leaves, the feeling of comfort and the infinite world of dreams are universal.

This reassuring lullaby will calm any child to sleep, while Brooke Dyer's gentle illustrations show that the little details in everyone's niche truly make a place into a home.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dyer (Mama Always Comes Home), herself the daughter of illustrator Jane Dyer, joins the mother-daughter team of Yolen and Stemple (previously paired for The Salem Witch Trials) to celebrate the joys of a long, cozy wintertime snooze. With a sleeping human child as the framing character, the authors visit the homes of 12 hibernating, pleasingly anthropormorphized animals. (The final page reveals that all the animals have a corresponding stuffed toy representative on the child's bed.) Each gets its own lullaby-like verse. For a girly skunk asleep in her boudoir, the authors write, "Snore, little skunk, snore,/ Turn over, snore some more./ The winter winds may howl and wail;/ Your den is closed with snow and hail./ But you know spring will never fail./ Snore, little skunk, snore." Dyer's consistently adorable watercolors especially stand out when she finds comic inspiration in the hallmark qualities of her animal cast. A beaver sleeps in a hard hat, surrounded by blueprints for next year's dams; the normally frenetic chipmunk snoozes in a track suit, gripping the shoestrings of his running shoes. Sweet and warmly comforting, this is the picture book equivalent of a cup of hot cocoa. Ages 2-6. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Norah Piehl
Beginning with a gentle exhortation to "Sleep, little one, sleep," this peaceful picture book then takes readers on a tour of underground burrows, dens, and caves, and the hibernating or slumbering animals who shelter there from winter's cold and snow. Wittily anthropomorphized animals—from the bats who hang like trapeze artists over a circus net, to the gopher who awaits spring far underground with his gardening implements by his side—all settle in for a long winter's snooze. Some, like the badger and the toad, seem to owe a debt to The Wind in the Willows, but for the most part readers will enjoy perusing the illustrations to figure out the meaning of the clever props surrounding the various creatures. The rhyming text, which closely mirrors the rhythm and structure of the classic lullaby "Sleep, baby, sleep / Thy papa guards the sheep," adeptly introduces each animal, while its songlike rhythm soothes young listeners. The meter does change near the end as the attention turns not surprisingly to a young human child: "And even you, it's time for sleep, / So snuggle down and burrow deep." All in all, text and pictures combine to create an effective opportunity for winter bedtime cuddles.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1
In this musical whisper of a book, various animals settle down for a winter's nap, assured that spring will wake them to reenter the warmer, more active world. Each page features a lullaby with language quirky enough to raise a smile-for instance: "Snore, little skunk, snore,/Turn over, snore some more./The winter winds may howl and wail;/Your den is closed with snow and hail./But you know spring will never fail./Snore, little skunk, snore." Complementing the comfort and reassurance of the text are Dyer's cozy and humorous illustrations. Frog cuddles up under a leaf-patterned comforter, warmed by her pink-striped scarf. Her ice skates are poised at the bedpost and her figure-skating trophy decorates the text on the opposing page. Badger, dressed like Sherlock Holmes, sneaks in some reading with his magnifying glass as he rests by a roaring fire in his underground den. Dyer deftly inserts details of pattern and personality using gentle, appealing colors. The painting of chipmunk snoozing in his running suit, surrounded by sneakers, is a hoot. The culmination of the book, on a blue background that might be flecked with snow or with stars, is, aptly, a message to children: "And even YOU, it's time for sleep,/So snuggle down and burrow deep./The sheet and quilt will keep you warm/Through winter or through summer storm/Till you awaken in the morn./Sleep, my little child, sleep." Soothing, soporific, and magnetic, this is a special winter bedtime book.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Mother and daughter's latest collaboration is a wintry lullaby for hibernating animals. Gentle rhyming verses sing the creatures off to dreamland, while also providing at least one fact about each long, winter nap, i.e., frogs sleep under the ice at the bottom of a stream while snakes breathe more slowly. The final page sends a young child off to sleep, cozy and warm in bed, and surrounded by stuffed versions of all the hibernating animals. Dyer's artwork is a mixture of realistically portrayed animals and fanciful notions of what their homes and clothes might look like. While some will be viewed by young children as cute animals in their houses, other illustrations will confuse the younger audience for whom this book is intended. So, for instance, the box turtle sleeps in a hammock underground with boxing gloves on and jump-rope in hand. A good read-aloud for a particularly cold and frosty night, it's just too bad the busy artwork with hidden meanings works against the gentle lullaby. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060815608
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/6/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 634,569
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books, including fantasy, science fiction, and poetry, which earned her the moniker the American Hans Christian Andersen. Her titles include Odysseus in the Serpent Maze, The Dragon's Boy, and The Girl Who Loved the Wind. Jane Yolen divides her time between a farmhouse in Massachusetts and a house in Scotland.

Brooke Dyer is the illustrator of Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple and Mama Always Comes Home by Karma Wilson. Brooke lives in Lincoln, Massachusetts, with her husband, three young children, and their dog, Sophie.

Heidi E. Y. Stemple is the author of One If By Land: A Massachusetts Number Book. She has previously collaborated with her mother, Jane Yolen, on twelve books, including The Salem Witch Trials, illustrated by Roger Roth, and Dear Mother, Dear Daughter, illustrated by Gil Ashby. She has two daughters and lives in Hatfield, Massachusetts.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 19, 2011

    Our Bedtime Favorite

    We read this one just about every night, it's sweet and rhythmic like a lullaby and has more words than a lot of the other "good night" books we have or have seen.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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