Big Bear patiently soothes restless Little Bear in their cozy nighttime cave.
"I don't like the dark," said Little Bear.
"What dark?" said Big Bear.
"The dark all around us," said Little Bear.
In this tender account of a sleepless night in the bear cave, Big Bear sets out with all his patience and understanding to show Little Bear that the dark is nothing to be afraid of. When all the lanterns in the cave aren't enough to quell Little Bear's troubled emotions, Big Bear offers-in a final loving gesture-nothing less than the bright yellow moon and the twinkling stars! More comforting than even the best of lullabies, this bedtime story is destined to become a classic. Age 3+.
"The most perfect children's book ever written or illustrated… It evaporates and dispels all fear of the dark." The Sunday Times
Winner of LA Kate Greenaway Medal 1988.
Winner of Smarties Book Prize 1988.
Martin Waddell is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest living writers of books for children. He has won many awards, including the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2004. Martin lives in Northern Ireland. Barbara Firth illustrated the award-winning Big and Little Bear series by Martin Waddell and, in 1989, she won the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award for The Park in the Dark, also written by Martin Waddell. She lives in Harrow.
In this comforting story about a big bear trying to help a little bear overcome his fear of the dark, both the affectionate humor and the beguiling variations on a repetitive theme are reminiscent of Minarik's classic Little Bear (1957); but this British team gives a fresh flavor to the old formula. For one thing, these bears live in a cave, comfortably furnished but just the site for lurking shadows. Big Bear (who looks like an informally updated version of one of L. Leslie Brooke's amiable Three Bears) is trying to read, but willingly fetches first one and then another and another ever-larger lantern to dispel the dark that troubles the restless little bear; finally, they go into the real dark outside to admire the full moon and Little Bear drifts off to sleep, safe at last in Big Bear's encompassing arms. Waddell's charming narration has the grace and economy of old nursery tales. Using frames of mellow slate blue, Firth sets her pencil and watercolor illustrations beneath gentle arches that suggest the cave's interior, comfortably accommodating the text among vignettes and larger spreads. As in Brooke's illustrations, there are delightful domestic details to explore, But the bears are best of all. Perfect for bedtime, or anytime. (Kirkus Reviews)