You and Me, Little Bear

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You and Me, Little Bear By (author) Martin Waddell, Illustrated by Barbara FirthA while ago my daughter and I read a book called ‘Can’t you sleep, Little Bear?’ by Martin Waddell, and enjoyed it so much that I was really pleased when I found a whole set of ‘little bear’ books because I knew she was bound to enjoy them. This book – ‘You and Me, Little Bear‘ is an adorable little picture book telling the story of the relationship between Big Bear and Little Bear and of what happens in one day in their lives.

You and Me, Little Bear’ is really quite a simple one, but that is good for young children. The story starts with Little Bear, like most little people, asking Big Bear if they can play together. However, Big Bear, like most big people, has a host of jobs that has to be done around the house. There is wood to be fetched, water to be collected from the stream and the cave to be tidied. Little Bear offers to help which Big Bear thinks is great and when they are setting out to do each job he says to Little Bear – ‘You and Me’. This is obviously why the book has its title and my daughter loves this element of repetition because she is able to join in each time.

After a while Big Bear carries on with the jobs while Little Bear starts to play some lovely games – ‘bear slide’, ‘bear-tricks with bear-sticks’ and ‘bear stand on his head’. We always seem to have a diversion from the story telling at this point because my daughter likes to have a go at all the games too – especially the standing on her head!

Finally, the jobs are done and Big Bear thinks that there might be time for a rest but Little Bear has other ideas – now it is time to play! They have a great game of hide and seek as well as lots of other bear games before the sun starts to go down and it is time to go back to the cave. On the way home, Big Bear remarks that it has been a really good day to which Little Bear replies ‘It was lovely, Big Bear. – Just you and me, playing!’

This is a nice straightforward end to a lovely simple story, and I like the way that the words in the title appear right at the end, rounding the story off well. All the language in the story is very simple which I think is good as it really makes it accessible to young children. On every page the story is accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Barbara Firth. These are sort of hazy and muted which tend to give a dream-like feel to the whole book. There is also a lot of attention to detail in all of the pictures providing lots of talking points for young children.

I really like this book because it tells of a really close relationship between an adult and a child. It is interesting to note that throughout the story there is no indication as to whether the two bears are male or female. I suspect that this is deliberate as it certainly provokes discussion. My daughter and I just cannot decide!

I also like the fact that it covers what is always quite a sticky moment for lots of parents – how do you share your time between your children and the thousand and one jobs that have to be done around the house? I find that referring to this story helps when I need to get on with jobs when my daughters want to play. I remind them that Big Bear has to do jobs too, and sometimes I can even get them to ‘help’!

Because there is quite a lot of repetition in the story, I think this really starts to bring on my daughter’s reading and storytelling skills. She definitely is starting to recognise some of the words that appear quite frequently, and she is also able to retell the story in her own words (which she loves being able to do)

So overall, ‘You and Me, Little Bear’ is a very entertaining little story book which I am sure most young children would enjoy. My older daughter is just four and really finds it accessible but my two year old also enjoys the story.

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You and Me, Little Bear
by Martin Waddell, Illustrated by Barbara Firth

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Written by kingfisher