Friday 22 October 2010

The Bear under the Stairs

The Bear under the Stairs

Written and Illustrated by Helen Cooper

Published by Picture Corgi

Hmmmmm! Not sure what to make of this book. On the one hand it has a life lesson about not being scared of the dark contained within its pages. On the other hand it's a pretty menacing (and sometimes scary) book, and certainly not one you'd want to read to a restless toddler before bedtime. 

As you can see from the cover art, you're never really sure whether "The Bear under the Stairs" is a benign soul or a menacingly dark figure. The little lad in the story is scared of the bear, and the space under the stairs and it would be extremely easy for your little ones to develop the same fear if you've got an understairs cupboard that's dark and dingy. Maybe it's a worry-wort parent thing but Helen Cooper's book doesn't have a nice light "oh everything's alright then" ending, rather it seems to want to perpetuate the idea that this bear could be anywhere, under any stairs, at any time. 

Number one rule of kids books: Think about the psychological effect of your book and its characters on young and imaginative minds. 

Charlotte's best bit: None

Daddy's favourite bit: None

Rating: 0 out of 5