The bear in Nick Bland's "The very cranky bear" is not a mother, and there are no mothers in his story. However, it is very easy as a mother to identify with Bear's need for sleep and peace and hibernation - and to understand his crankiness when he is interrrupted by little ones looking for a perfect place to play!
This is our three-year-old's most requested story at the moment. Joe loves the beginning - In the Jingle Jangle Jungle on a cold and rainy day - and the rhyme of the story which makes your voice lilt up and down as you read it.
This picture book tells the story of Moose, Lion, Zebra and Sheep, four friends with different looks and personalities who attempt to play a game in a cave without realising that a cranky bear is trying to sleep. While Moose, Zebra and Lion are the braver and more flamboyant characters, it is plain Sheep who manages to save the day and appease Bear.
There is lots of repetition which is fabulous for little ones, and the rhyme makes it a wonderful read-aloud book for toddlers and preschoolers.
The illustrations, also by Nick Bland, use broad brush strokes and larger than life characters so that the animals seem vivid with lots of personality.
And as today is a cold Melbourne October day, it seems like Bear has the right idea for hibernating!