After Christmas, I ordered ‘This is the Bear’ by Sarah Hayes and Helen Craig for Peapod because of his love of the binmen in Dogger’s Christmas.
At first, he LOVED it and we read it repeatedly. So I ordered the collection with all four books in.
Then he point blank refused to read it all of a sudden: “Don’t like that one!” It transpired this was because he disliked the bin men driving off and not stopping fir the little boy!
No amount of cajoling and persuasion – “they just can’t hear him..!” – could convince him otherwise.
Luckily, when the collection arrived he immediately wanted to read the others, which has switched him back on to the original too!
We’ve been reading them all ever since.
They’re a lovely collection, instantly relatable for toddlers with their central characters of a boy, his dog and his teddy (Fred) who has wonderfully teddy-bear-ish adventures (he falls in a bin, he gets left behind, he has a picnic…)
Written in simple, rhythmic Rhyme, with a gentle humour, these are a joy to read and perfect for both reading aloud, and for emerging readers with their clear, large print.
Peapod’s current favourite is ‘This is the Bear and the Bad Girl‘. It’s like a perfect example of what children’s fiction needs – loveable main characters and a ‘wicked villain’ in the girl who steals Fred, a brilliant mix of slapstick trips, falls and puddings-on-head and – of course – a happy ending!
Peapod is outraged by the fact that, not only does she steal Fred, but “girl not say sorry!” at the end. And this is partly what I love too – there’s a happy reunion for Fred and his boy, so all is well, but there’s no saccharine apology and making friends, no seeing the error of her ways etc. and I am all about a good baddie!
Fred and the boy waiting for their puddings in the cafe, shortly before a chase round the house as we act this out for the millionth time!
This is the Bear and the Scary Night sees Fred left in the park one afternoon, snatched by an owl, dropped in a pond and rescued by a kind local musician – adventure for little readers at its finest!
This is the Bear and the Picnic Lunch sees the boy planning a picnic, but the weather and his wonderfully mischievous dog (another fab character who is ever so naughty, but has a heart of gold hidden under his tough exterior!) have other plans. Our little picnic lover is a big fan!
I love that Peapod loves these books. My sister and I loved them growing up and it’s so lovely to be reading them again and seeing how much joy they bring Peapod too!
Have you read these books?
Which picture books have you been reading this week?