Nick Bland, The Very Sleepy Bear, Scholastic Australia, July 2017, 24pp., $16.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781743812549
Funny, beautifully illustrated and with a clever twist, children will enjoy reading or listening to The Very Sleepy Bear.
Written in rhyme, the story is perfect for reading aloud. It moves at a rhythmic pace giving the reader amusing surprises as Bear leaves his cave to search for a bigger one. It is sneaky fox who has convinced him that he needs one and when, after a series of misadventures, Bear returns home, it is to find that fox and his friends have moved in. Luckily, he is too sleepy to care and asks them to wake him up in spring, after his hibernation.
Bear is a very appealing character. Children aged 3 plus will find this picture book very entertaining and will want to hear it read many times as they join bear on his unexpected journey. The bright orange endpapers and cheeky red fox provide a striking contrast to the big, sleepy, brown bear as he follows fox from one inadequate potential home to the next. They will enjoy the funny side of Bear being taken in/fooled and the fact that he inadvertently has the last laugh.
Reviewed by Grace Nolan