Archive for the ‘Picture Books’ Category

Happy Friday, Everyone!   It’s been a seemingly looong, busy week with more hours of effort, and a weary body at the end of the day than usual.  Either that or I’m just getting older.  Nah!  It was truly an activity filled week and I still have a birthday party for my one-year-old-grandson, grandbaby sitting tonight and tomorrow, a funeral, a concert and regular church/Sunday School to go.

But, I’ve had friends to help at every event, who even put up with my weary grumbling.  The hard part will be the funeral tomorrow to say goodbye to a dear friend.  The honor will be playing the organ and some of her favorite hymns.  I’m already planning a blog about this lovely lady, to introduce you to her.

Now on to my Perfect Picture Book pick.  I’m so glad Susanna Hill started this wonderful idea so we can share our favorite books with one another.

Title: Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear?Can't You Sleep, Little Bear?

Author:   Martin Waddell

Illustrator:   Barbara Firth

Publisher: Candlewick Press, 1992

Genre: Fiction

Audience Age:   2-8

Themes/Topics: Bedtime, Fear of the Dark, Bears

Opening Sentences: “Once there were two bears.  Big Bear and Little Bear.  Big Bear is the big bear, and Little Bear is the little bear.”

Synopsis: When bedtime arrives, Little Bear is afraid of the dark and can’t get to sleep. ‘ “I don’t like the dark,” said Little Bear. “What dark?” said Big Bear.”  The dark all around us,” said Little Bear.’ So Big Bear first brings  a tiny lantern to light the dark, and then a larger lantern.  But Little Bear is afraid of the ‘dark all around us.’  Big Bear solves the problem with  lots of light and lots of love. (You’ll have to read the book to find his solution.)

Why I like it:   We’ve all been there, children and adults alike.  Big Bear is trying to read a good book and Little Bear can’t sleep. The repetitive nature of the book is lovely for bedtime and Barbara Firth’s illustrations have a warm cozy, cuddly feeling. There is also delightful, subtle humor in the drawings that add to the story. For instance Big Bear is reading the very book we are, as well as the amusing antics of the Little Bear who ‘can’t sleep.’ Little Bear is not at all whiny, and Big Bear does not complain but is very gentle and loving.   The only drawback to the book is you may have to read it twice.  Once for the story, then the second time you read it for the illustrations: to observe the furniture, (especially the bear chair),  then to observe Little Bear’s non-sleeping postures and to find his little bed buddy, and turn the book upside down to see Big Bear’s book.  At least that’s how we do it at Grandma Miller’s house.

Activities/Resources:  There is a parent/child ‘Things I’m Afraid of’ activity here:


and also some fun ‘Facing the Dark’ activity suggestions here:


Availability: Hardcover,  Softcover & Audio, Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Now I’m off to face my Friday – with a full coffee cup in hand.  I’ll be posting my sketches for SkADaMo, I promise, just please help me find 5 minutes at my scanner.

Enjoy the read, and blessings on your creativity.

Laura (a.k.a. Grandma Miller)


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Before you leave be sure to scroll to the comments and tell us  What is Your Earliest Memory  of a Picture Book.   (Karma Wilson, (Bear Snores On) talks about her earliest memory at Picture Book Month.)

Confession:  I never read Winnie the Pooh until I was in college.   Sad, but true. The friend who introduced me to him was aghast.  She said, “I thought you were more well-rounded than that.”  No, that would be my hips that are well-rounded.  Okay, I didn’t really say that-it just took me 40 years to think of a good come-back.

I know my mom and dad read to me.  My mother has a passion for reading which she passed on to me.  But, today I tried to think back to when I was little and my favorite picture book, but nothing stood out. .   I tried to sift through my cob web ridden gray matter…..I could remember


encyclopedias with an accompanying set of Childhood Poems.  I could remember the bookcase in the living room….Then it came to me….Little Golden Books.  Many of them.  I think the local grocery gave one out a week with a minimum purchase.

The Little Red Hen, the  Three Little Kittens, the Three Little Pigs, The Poky Little Puppy.  And I remembered the overstuffed chair with cabbage roses where I used to sit on my mom’s lap while she read to me.

Then the memory gates burst and I also remembered the art of Eloise Wilkin in My Goodnight Book.    I remember holding this book when I was small.  Then when my girls were little, my mother bought them a copy saying to me, ‘you used to have this when you were little.’  And then a generation later I bought my granddaughters a copy.   Eloise’s  beautiful, prolific artwork and her depiction of children has lasted for generations.  (I should be so blessed to have just one book do that.)

I’ve already been inspired this November by PiBoIdMo, and Picture Book Month.  Both posts have some wonderful authors, illustrators and editors giving insight, inspiration and tips–all for free!!!

Picture Book Month is a celebration of  the picture book and its importance and significance in our lives.  So far there have been posts by Caldecott medal winner Chris Raschka, illustrator Tom Lichtenfeld, another Caldecott winner Paul O. Zelinsky,  illustrator John Rocco, author Uma Krishnaswami, and today’s author was Doreen Cronin (one of my favorites).   There is a stellar line-up for the entire month of November.  Don’t miss a day.

PiBoIdMo  is a challenge to  a group of writers and illustrators to come up with a new picture book idea each day in November.  Already we have had inspiring and motivational posts by  new author, Amy Dixon, wonderfully funny author/illustrator Robert Weinstock, award winning author and founder of Picture Book Month,  Dianne de Las Casas, editor Emma Ledbetter, illustrator James Burks, and author/illustrator Deborah Freedman. Author Tammi Sauer talks about structure.

So with many opportunities to appreciate our contemporary talent, learn some techniques, be challenged and encouraged by our peers, you have no excuse not to have fun this month…  Enjoy, reminisce, and READ a picture book.  OH – and just for fun tell me what is your earliest memory of a picture book.

Blessings on your day & your creativity.

Laura (grandmamiller)

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