Bedtime Without Arthur by Jessica Meserve

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Bedtime Without Arthur by Jessica Meserve

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: Lashings of humour, plenty of heart, an engaging plot and gorgeous illustrations make Bedtime Without Arthur a real joy to read. Warmly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: July 2010
Publisher: Andersen Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1842709153

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Arthur is a very special bear. Using bravery, strength and karate, he keeps Bella safe from monsters when she sleeps. One day, Arthur goes missing, and Bella has to face the monsters on her own. Will Arthur turn up? Will Bella ever get a good night's sleep again?

I really enjoyed Bedtime Without Arthur. Tales of bedtime woes may be common in picture books, but it's great when there's a well-rounded story, rather than being all message. Yes, it's useful for any young 'uns to see Bella overcoming her worries, but even if they've always snored their head off without a moment's thought, they'll love seeing what Bella, Arthur, and Bella's little brother Finley get up to.

Arthur is the star of the show. From the moment you see him doing karate against a shadowy dragon, you'll wish he was your bear. When his chin is flopped on the breakfast table after a night of battling monsters, you'll awww and chuckle. You'll also be impressed by Jessia Meserve's excellent illustrations, which make Arthur look both like a bear propped up at the table by a kid, and also like a real character who really truly was up battling monsters all night. There are plenty of other brilliant touches amongst the illustrations, from the obvious ones like Bella getting an ice cream in the face, to the less obvious ones like her room featuring all the things that will go on to fill her nightmares.

The writing is crisp and direct - it's pitched perfectly at its young audience. There's depth to the plot too, which will extend the book's lifetime beyond just the moment when they're having night-time worries. Issues of lost and found, of growing up, of being a loving older sister are all woven in too, with heart and humour. It's a fine addition to any bookshelf. Warmly recommended.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

Our Top Ten Picture Books For Overcoming Bedtime Woes has a lot of similar tales of nightmares and other worries. The very youngest book fans will enjoy Bedtime (Slip-and-Slide Books) by Maureen Roffey. Red Ted and the Lost Things by Michael Rosen and Joel Stewart is a sweet lost and found tale. For a different look at sibling issues, check out Baby Baby Blah Blah Blah! by Jonathan Shipton and Francesca Chessa.

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Buy Bedtime Without Arthur by Jessica Meserve at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bedtime Without Arthur by Jessica Meserve at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Bedtime Without Arthur by Jessica Meserve at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bedtime Without Arthur by Jessica Meserve at


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