Little Bear’s Spring

Author: Elli Woollard Illustrator: Briony May Smith

A delightful picture book, for 0 – 3 year olds, published by MacMillan on 21st February 2019, and perfect for this time of year.

“Inside he felt empty and lonely and lost,
As bleak as the sky and as cold as the frost.

I love a rhyming picture book – especially when reading aloud to my 3 year old – and this is no exception. The illustrations are charming and really capture the cold beauty of winter contrasted with the vibrant colours of spring. My son enjoyed spotting, and naming, the different animals on each page and the detail prompted questions from him about where they were and what they were doing.

The book follows a lonely bear cub as he wakes from ‘hibernation’ (although I know torpor is more accurate) and goes in search of a willing playmate – with an unexpected ‘stone’ for company and a surprise at the end. (I know several toddlers who have developed keen interest in stones, with a fondness for carrying pebbles around in their pockets, so this made me smile!)

Animals he meets along the way are too busy, with their preparations for spring, to join the bear and their responses to his question, “But what is the spring?” reminded me of Plop’s learning about the dark in ‘The Owl who was afraid of the dark’. Spring is, of course, magical, wonderful, beautiful…

A great book to share with babies and toddlers at home or use with Nursery, Reception and Key Stage One when they explore the changing seasons.

Short extract and questions for a whole class reading starter…

Thank you to MacMillan for a copy of this fabulous book, in return for an honest review.


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