Don't Wake Mr Bear! by Jill Newton

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Don't Wake Mr Bear! by Jill Newton

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A lovely, lively LOUD story that's a joy to read aloud!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: September 2011
Publisher: Egmont
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1405249669

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Dormouse is the leader of the woodland orchestra, and it is time for the lullaby of the forest to begin. Softly, gently the animals play and off goes Dormouse to hibernate for the winter, departing with the strict instruction remember, WHATEVER you do, don't wake Mr Bear! It's not hard to guess what happens next, is it?!

Everyone continues playing quietly for a while, feeling sleepy with the soft music when suddenly a car of wolves crash into a tree, tooting their horn and ready to party. The squirrels and rabbits and woodland creatures try to tell the wolves to be quiet but they won't listen, and before long everyone can't help but join in having fun with the wolves until they're so loud that they wake up Mr Bear!

The twist in this tale is that actually Mr Bear is happy to join in the party and it is, in fact, Dormouse who comes roaring out of his house, ranting and raging about waking Mr Bear and all the noise!

This is a really well told tale. The story builds and plays upon your expectations so as the wolves and the animals get noisier you're ready for the bear's roar as he wakes up, but then when he joins in with the music it's a surprise and you wonder how the story will end. Dormouse's rage is very funny, and he sounds very much like an irate parent as he asks what it was he told the creatures not to do, then asks what it is they've done, and the creatures get quieter and quieter, like guilty children, as they admit that they woke up Mr Bear!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story aloud. It's fun to make the noises of the musicians as they play their lullaby, and I fully entered into the role of angry Dormouse for the shouting rampage at the end! The illustrations are colourful and fun. I was a little unsure why the wolves are blue and purple whereas the rest of the animals seem to be realistically portrayed, but otherwise they're bright, entertaining pictures. It's not exactly a calming, go to sleep story, but it's certainly great fun to share in the daytime when you can be as loud as you want to! Recommended toddler reading!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

We also enjoyed Crash Bang Donkey! by Jill Newton.

Further reading suggestion: The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland

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