cover image Stay Awake, Bear!

Stay Awake, Bear!

Gavin Bishop, Author Scholastic $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-531-30249-1

Nap-haters will agree with this book's stubborn hero, who argues, ""Sleeping is such a waste of time! It takes up the whole winter."" Although Old Bear yawns when the first snowflakes fall and his neighbors disappear into their dens, he firmly resists hibernation (""He filled his days by playing songs on his banjo....He baked pies and made spicy jam tarts""). One day, he hears someone at his door--another insomniac, Brown Bear. These kindred spirits while away the season together, by playing Scrabble and eating. They spend the next summer on a vacation, catching up on their lost rest in scenic locations. While this tale lacks the depth of imagination of Bishop's previous Little Rabbit and the Sea, it conveys a cozy mood with autumnal watercolor hues, overlaid with dense ink crosshatching. A wood-burning-stove warmth pervades his images of Old Bear's tree-trunk abode, which is decorated with rustic antiques and cushy armchairs. The narrative outwardly goes against the grain of sleepy-time picture books, for the happy characters see no error in their un-bearlike ways. On the other hand, the book lulls readers into relaxation with its closing image of the rebels on the beach, sacked out in deck chairs. Bishop and the bears find the best of both worlds. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)