Book Reviews

Blog Tour: No Sleep For Bear by Duncan Beedie

It’s not often I get to do a blog tour for a picture book! No Sleep For Bear is a sweet and funny read that’s perfect for bedtime.

Book: No Sleep for Bear by Duncan Beedie

Publication date: 7th July 2022

Ownership: Review copy sent free of charge by Templar Books. All opinions my own.

Winter is approaching and it’s time for Bear to have a nice long sleep . . . but the more he tries to get to sleep, the more AWAKE he feels. So he decides to copy his forest friends who seem to doze off without any trouble: he sings in the trees like Blackbird, burrows underground like Badger, and even hangs upside down from the ceiling like Bat, but nothing works – until wise Frog shows him how to relax, and soon the forest is reverberating with his snores!

A perfect bedtime story which will strike a chord with all parents of fidgety, wriggly, wide-awake children!

This is such a sweet book! Stories about getting to sleep are practically their own genre of picture book at this point, and No Sleep For Bear balances humour and cuteness to stand out nicely in a very stuffed category. Bear’s struggles with insomnia will ring a bell for many adults, as well as for kids who don’t like bedtime – Bear trying to convince himself ‘I have to go to sleep now to get enough sleep’ certainly seemed familiar to me! The story is told in simple, non-rhyming prose, which makes it a nice calm read that you can take at your own pace.

The art is simple and appealing, with lovely foresty tones and soft teals which feel cosy without being too boringly sleepy. The animals have such funny, human expressions, particularly Bear and Badger! I really love the endpapers, too – the front of the book has autumn leaves and the back, snowdrops, which is a cute way of showing the seasons passing while Bear hibernates.

One thing I really like about this is the subtlety of the message. Bear tries several different methods to get to sleep, but what works for Bird or Badger doesn’t necessarily work for him. It’s a good way of showing kids that they need to do what works for them to get to sleep, but that a little bit of guidance (which Frog offers) can be helpful to alert them to new ways they haven’t tried before. It doesn’t feel like a book with a moral, though, and kids will find the irony in Bear’s sleep keeping everyone else awake much more obvious! It could also open up conversations about hibernation and seasons, so there’s a lot more than meets the eye at first glance!

Overall, this is a lovely little read, and one that’s perfect for bedtime or daytime.

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