Saturday, April 03, 2010

Sweet Dreams: Goodnight, Baby Bear by Michael Shoulders

Momma Bear loves Baby Bear more than she loves honey oatmeal raisin cookies.

And she really loves honey oatmeal raisin cookies.

The members of Baby Bear's family have two things in common--they all love honey oatmeal raisin cookies, and they all love Baby Bear.

Momma and Baby Bear love the butterflies that come to enjoy the butterfly bush they plant and the birds who keep warm in the snug houses they build for them. And after their day in the sun, Momma tucks her cub in with a warm honey raisin oatmeal cookie and a special book before she kisses Baby Bear good night.

Daddy Bear needs Baby's help hooking up the toy tractor and its trail, digging a hole to plant an acorn to grow tall, and at the end of the day, Daddy, too, says good night with a cookie and a special story.

Brother Bear flies his kite in the ocean breeze with his little brother and reads him a story; Aunt Grace take him to the aquarium and answers all his questions before tucking him in with his cookie and a story about dolphins; and Uncle Roy shares his clown costumes and makeup, teaches Baby Bear the trick of how to making scarves disappear and leaves him with a cookie and a bedtime special joke only they share:

Knock Knock!

Who's there?


Police who?

Police don't eat honey oatmeal raisin cookies without ME!

And Nana? She loves eating oatmeal cookies with Baby Bear better than anyone. And she not only tucks him into bed. She lies right down beside him and catches up with all she's missed since her last visit. Nana doesn't stop with just one special book, either. She reads on and on, until, just as Momma, Daddy, and Brother Bear come looking for her, Nana and Baby Bear fall fast asleep together.

Goodnight, Baby Bear.

While cookies in bed may not be everyone's idea of a bedtime routine, the cookies are symbolic of the sweetness of a familiar ritual that make bedtime go better for all, and Michael Shoulders' forthcoming Goodnight Baby Bear (Sleeping Bear Press, 2010), with its portrait of a warm and nurturing extended family, is a great way to recall the events of the day and prepare for sweet dreams. As in his earlier and equally delightful Say Daddy! (Picture Books), (see my posted review here) Shoulder's gentle story of a close-knit and loving family and Teri Weidner's lovely and cozy pastel illustrations are a comforting and soothing way to both remember--and say goodbye--to the day.

[Note: Michael Shoulders' recipe for honey oatmeal raisin cookies is appended.]

Shoulders' other books include D Is for Drum: A Native American Alphabet (Alphabet Books), V is for Volunteer: A Tennessee Alphabet [V IS FOR VOLUNTEER], and 1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi: A Mississippi Numbers Book (Count Your Way Across the USA).

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  • Books are such powerful tools. We love them so. Thank you for all the stories you've posted about. I wanted to share a book that our family just loves to read again and again. "Bedtime for Meaghan" by Celi Camacho, is a sweet and tender bedtime story. Hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.

    Callie Hunter

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:10 PM  

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