Thursday, 22 November 2012

Bear on a Bike by Stella Blackstone and Debbie Harter (Barefoot Books)

That moment when you realise that you've borrowed a book from the library about 50 billion times, and have never reviewed it? Yep that. I frantically searched through the blog earlier, absolutely convinced that we'd looked at "Bear on a Bike" before, even made it Book of the Week (as it probably should be but something just a smidgeon better nudged it aside this week!) but nope, couldn't find it at all.

So here we are then, a book that Charlotte has loved since she was tiny - and still loves now. Barefoot Books publish some of the most colourful and delightful children's books and the "Bear" series by Stella Blackstone and Debbie Harter deserve a place in anyone's children's book collection (including ours, something we'd better remedy as soon as possible methinks in case we wear Abingdon Library's copy of this out!)

"Bear on a Bike" is a singsong tale with the friendliest bear on the planet and his friend, a young boy who is always included in his adventures. When I first started reading this to Charlotte, I played it straight and just read it. As the years have passed by, the little boy has somehow transformed into "Small" from Big and Small (complete with that slightly annoying high pitched brummie voice) and Bear is a plummy, quite loquacious fellow who dreamily describes his current mode of transport, and where he's going on it.

Debbie Harter's illustrations are utterly mesmerising, eye catching for younger children yet still packed with exquisite detail for older children. Stella Blackstone's rhyming text weaves the tale beautifully and feels like it should be set to music.

We like what Barefoot Books do (we're still somehow hoping that Santa will drop one of their fantastic illustrated atlases down the chimney for us this christmas) and this is deservedly one of their best known and best loved books. Bear on a Blog. As Happy as Can Be? Where are you going Bear? Please write for me!

Charlotte's best bit: The ball! Oh my yes, the ball - and the method of transport the bear uses to get there.

Daddy's favourite bit: A beautiful book that is such massive fun to read aloud, and will wow kids right from the beginning of their book journey. Utterly perfect.