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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Bear Is Not Tired, wirtten and illustrated by Ciara Gavin. Alfred A. Knopf, Random House. 2016. $21.99 ages 3 and up

"And that meant it was nearly
time for Bear to go to sleep.
He had been having so much fun,
he'd forgotten all about it.
Ducks don't sleep in the
winter. Bear knew they would
carry on as usual. He didn't
want to miss out on the fun.
He even had his winter clothes
all ready."

I have not yet seen Room For Bear, the book which introduced young and captivated readers to Bear and his duck family. You can bet that it is on my 'to be purchased' list now! They make a most endearing group. While this post is not perfectly timed,  it's easy to make a case for what happens after a bear sleeps his winter away, as many of us would like to do some years. What did you do to get through the winter? The ducks have lots to share with Bear.

Bear loves being with his new family! There are days when he even forgets that he's a bear in his quest to be a part of their every activity. A noticeable change in the temperature outside signals an innate need in Bear. Winter is on its way, and Bear needs sleep. The realization and acceptance of the fact that ducks don't hibernate as is his custom has him rethinking his natural ursine rhythms. Knowing that the ducks will do what they always do while he sleeps the winter away causes concern - he has no wish to miss the fun! Though he is equipped to spend the winter wrapped up in warm duds and tucked snugly in his bed, he decides he will not sleep.

How do you think that goes? His friends cannot help but notice his lack of motivation for any activity and his endless dropping off to sleep, despite his best efforts. The ducks do their best to keep him alert and functional. There is no solution for Bear's dilemma.

"Mama Duck said Bear couldn't fight who he was.
Bears are bears, and bears are supposed to sleep in
winter. She promised him he wouldn't miss a thing."

True to her word, he does not!

Ms. Gavin's watercolor depictions of their charmed lives are filled with tender moments and gentle humor. They tell their own stories, additional and much appreciated. Don't forget to check out the endpapers, both front and back. Kids will love this friendly tale as much as they loved the first one. Now, we can look toward another companionable escapade. Or, we can hope to do so.

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