Brave Bitsy and the Bear

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Brave Bitsy and the Bear By Angela McAllister, Illustrated by Tiphanie BeekeBrave Bitsy and the Bear‘ is a lovely children’s’ picture story written by Angela McAllister and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke. The main characters in the story are a small toy rabbit called Bitsy and a big brown bear! At first sight, the title might suggest that Bitsy has to be brave and protect herself from the scary big bear, but in actual fact that is not what the story is about at all! It is actually about two different acts of kindness, and because of this, is a good one to share with young children.

The story starts when poor Bitsy, who was going through the forest with her little girl owner, falls out of a pocket. She is scared but knows that she needs to try and find her way home so she sets off singing a brave song. This attracts the big brown bear who offers to help her find her way, even though he was just about to settle down for his long winter’s hibernation. Bitsy climbs on his back and they set of, although it soon becomes apparent that the bear is very sleepy and Bitsy is going to have to work hard, singing and marching on his back to keep him awake. She is successful though and soon finds herself at home thanks to the bear, who then leaves her to go off and start his long sleep!

However, it is a cold snowy night and Bitsy can’t help worrying. Bear was so sleepy and what if he doesn’t make it to his cave – he will surely freeze! So, in the morning (and this is where she shows how brave she is!) she sets off, taking a ball of wool to unravel as a trail, hoping to find him. The weather is really bad and her worst hopes are realised when she sees the big bear having fallen asleep on the ground with no protection. Bitsy is unable to help him on her own though, but is soon joined by other woodland creatures who all help to make a mossy blanket to cover him for the winter! Now Bear is safe and Bitsy is reassured that he will be alright – which he is, and come spring, when he wakes up he is very grateful and claims that that was the best winter sleep he ever had!

So all in all this is a rather lovely little story with a happy ending, which of course, is very important for young children. It also prompts quite a lot of discussion about how important it is to be kind and to help one another! It is obvious that Bear’s kindness to Bitsy actually helped to save him in the end. The little character of Bitsy is very cute and both my girls love him – in fact, so much, that they want a Bitsy of their own! In the illustrations she is quite small and purple with long ears and wears a funny stripy jumper! (I wonder where I can get one of those!)

All the illustrations fit the book well – the forest backgrounds tend to be quite muted and blurry which makes them seem quite mystical. Both the bear and Bitsy are well defined and at the end the last picture is of the two of them having a great big hug! – very heart warming.

The language is fairly straightforward and there is quite a lot of dialogue which my older daughter enjoys joining in with. There is an opportunity to put on different voices which can be a lot of fun!

So ‘Brave Bitsy and the Bear’ is definitely a book that my daughters and I would recommend as it has both lovely pictures and a good story to follow.

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Brave Bitsy and the Bear
by Angela McAllister, Tiphanie Beeke

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Written by kingfisher

My name is Jo and I have been married to Simon for nine years. We have two beautiful daughters – Rachel who is six and Natalie who is almost five and starting school in January. I also have two step children aged twenty one and seventeen so family life is never dull. I also manage to work three days for a local education authority where I support the teaching of literacy in primary schools. I love my job and it’s ideal for a book lover like me. In my spare time I run, dance and occasionally tread the boards with my local amateur dramatics group. My first love is reading though and you will never find me without a book on the go. My husband is also an avid reader and we are hoping to pass on our love of reading to our daughters. They certainly love their bedtime stories every night. Although I have and English degree and I am familiar with most of the classics, I generally read much lighter stuff these days. It’s mainly ‘chic lit’ but I also enjoy a good thriller or courtroom drama. I have so many favourite authors and this list tends to change regularly depending on what I am reading.

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