Expected publication: January 12th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Format read: E-ARC via publisher
Bear and his duck family do everything together. That is, until winter arrives. Bear is supposed to hibernate this time of year, but he doesn’t want to miss out on any of the fun. But can Bear really stay awake all winter long? Gentle humor and endearing illustrations bring a delightful twist to a bedtime routine that children and their parents will easily recognize.
Author/illustrator Ciara Gavin revisits Bear from her popular 2015 title Room for Bear, who has continued to live happily with his duck family. However, winter has settled in, and Bear is reluctant to go to sleep. He's worried about missing out on winter activities with the rest of the family...
What's fantastic about this continuation to Bear's tale, is Gavin's candid recognition of what Bear is afraid to miss out on, as winter begins settling in.
Bear's concerns about missing out on the events are taken seriously, which is an important idea for younger readers to comprehend, especially as they begin to learn how to convey their ideas and wishes to the adults around them.
Garvin's emphasis on the family's efforts to come to a compromise, by first helping Bear stay up and then figuring out an alternative solution when that doesn't work, is also fantastic as well. Not only is it delightful to see the various ways that the ducks try to help Bear, but it's also a gentle nod that there are always alternative solutions, especially if the first one doesn't work.
With watercolor illustrations using a warm palette, and small details - e.g. a tender scene that shows one of the youngest members of the family, trying to include a slumbering Bear - that will make any readers smile, this is a great addition to any young reader's shelf, especially as they work through bedtime and the winter months.
Bottom line: Bear is Not Tired is a great book that reminds readers on the importance of accepting routine, and the fact that there are compromises to ensure that they won't miss out on the fun. Highly recommend for all.