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Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?: Special Anniversary Printing Hardcover – September 23, 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Break out the candles and cake: this season, old favorites mark special occasions in an array of anniversary editions. A gold-embossed cover and a limited-edition print suitable for framing embellish the 10th-anniversary edition of Can't You Sleep Little Bear? by Martin Waddell, illus. by Barbara Firth. PW wrote of this tale of Big Bear and exuberant toddler Little Bear settling down on a wintry night, "Move over, Goodnight Moon. Margaret Wise Brown's enduring bedtime classic may have found a worthy successor."
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-- This warm, charming look at a small bear's fear of the dark is right on target for the preschool set. As Big Bear sits by the cozy fire trying to read, Little Bear, frightened of ``the dark all around us,'' cannot fall asleep. Sympathetic Big Bear lights lanterns in several sizes, attempting to banish the dark from the corners of their cave, but Little Bear wants more. Finally, when he is taken outside, cuddled close, and shown a full moon and twinkling stars, sleep comes instantly. Big Bear's compassion for his small charge is most evident in his loving facial expressions and in the warmth of the full-page watercolor and soft pencil illustrations. Blue arched borders around pages showing indoor scenes give the impression of looking into the cave from the dark outside; they provide a clear contrast to the wide-open snowy woodland settings at the book's beginning and end. Little Bear is the epitome of everychild, persistently (but endearingly) pestering for a little more attention and one last hug. The soft banter between the two characters, combined with a touch of repetitive phrasing, add to the book's strong child appeal. It's bound to become a beloved bedtime ritual in many households. --Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: Little Bear
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 10 Anv edition (September 23, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763619299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763619299
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.4 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,294,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Here's a doozy of a question for you. How is it that British picture books have cornered the market on the old scared-of-the-dark theme? I am referring, of course, to not only "The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark" but also the delightful, "Can' You Sleep, Little Bear?" Both British, these books have won wild applause and great heaping helpfuls of praise from professional and (ahem) amateur reviewers alike. In the case of the Waddell and Firth book, "Can't You Sleep, Little Bear" was once referred to by none other than the Sunday Times of London as, "the most perfect children's book ever written or illustrated". High praise that is not generally amiss.

Big Bear and Little Bear live in a somewhat hibernationless state of their own. One day they play all day in the sunlight and at night return to their comfy cave. After tucking Little Bear into bed, Big Bear tells the young 'un to go to sleep, retiring to his own claw footed (and armed) comfy chair to catch up on some reading. Unfortunately, Little Bear cannot fall asleep. He points out that there is a lot of dark around them and that it frightens him. Big Bear accommodates the small fry by providing a little nightlight lantern for the nightstand. But Little Bear is still afraid. With well hidden reluctance, Big Bear puts down his very interesting story and gets Little Bear a bigger light. When that (again) doesn't work he brings in something that the book calls, "the Biggest Lantern of Them All". But STILL Little Bear is afraid. After all, there's no denying that outside the cave the dark is all around. Taking Little Bear out into the nighttime, Big Bear offers the only comfort he can. He presents to Little Bear the moon and all the stars in the sky.
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Format: Paperback
As a 1st and 2nd grade teacher who owns over 1,500 children's books... I have to say that this book is in my top 2 for reading aloud to my students, or anyone who will listen. All it took was a thought to what little bear might sound like (little, scared, and a little bit mischevious). Once I got the voice down, this book became a frequently requested, and rerequested read aloud. My students, it seems could listen to it again and again. They enjoy the illustrations and watching Little Bear "try to go to sleep", while gradually revealing quite a fear of the dark, which some of them identify with. This is a great story to read out loud at bedtime or anytime!
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Format: Hardcover
As a little kid I was an avid reader. I was also very picky about what I liked. I cant remember how old I was when I first got this book but I know now, that at 17 I finally realize how much I loved and still love this one in particular. After recently going through old boxs of dozens of books from when I was younger, and setting aside ones I wanted to look through later, just for memories sake, i found this one. I instantly opened it up and could hear my moms voice reading it aloud to me. cheesy i know but this honestly has to be one of the few books from my childhood that after one quick read through i could remember almost every line and how the smooth short sentences transfered to the beautiful pictures so well. Myself, being very nostalgic kept 3 or 4 books from the many boxes and put them on my shelf. I still have this one.
Its hard to describe a book in general but i especially think a children's book more so. And seeing parents in book stores looking for books for there kids and not even knowing where to begin, its hard to say why i think this one should be the first one you pick up. Except that 10 years later a kid that had this one book among her literally hundreds remembers this one as a stand out i hope gives you enough of an example as to why this should deffiantly be on your list to check out.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was our third copy: two for our kids, and one for a new cousin. The repetitive back and forth conversation ("Can't you sleep, Little Bear?" "I'm afraid of the dark.") is great for setting a calming atmosphere for small children who need to settle down to sleep. Big Bear is cited as "he" in the book, but we tend to skip the pronoun and let the kids make "Big Bear" be whatever sex they would like. The drawings are tender and just the right level of detail for small children.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting little story of how Little Bear really doesn't want to go to sleep at all, and Big Bear does everything he can to help him not be afraid of the dark. Because he says that's why he can't sleep. Finally Big Bear takes him outside to see the bright moon, and stars, and he picks him up and holds him as he shows him. And that is when Little Bear falls asleep; he really wanted to be held close.
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Format: Hardcover
i read this to my toddler, too. he also laughs at the funny positions little bear tries so he could sleep. i think though, that this is more than about the excuses and tricks of a toddler to escape going to sleep. instead, it is about human comfort and physical contact our little ones need in order to make them feel comforted and safe. and about us adults trying to meet those needs and going beyond simply giving them a conducive atmosphere where they could sleep (giving all kinds of 'lamps'). all they really need is the warmth, love and physical presence of a parent or guardian.
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