Thursday, April 2, 2015

Book Review: The Bear in the Cave by Michael Rosen and Adrian Reynolds

Title: The Bear in the Cave 
Writer: Michael Rosen
Illustrator: Adrian Reynolds
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 32
Genre: Children's literature / Fiction
Rating: 10/10
Format: Paperback (includes Audio CD)
Suitable for: 2 years+

About the Book (from the website):

A very happy bear hears the sounds of the city from his quiet home by the sea and decides to find out what city life is like. Buying the ticket and travelling on the train is all very exciting. And so is the city! But after a while the bear finds the city a little too noisy and a little too busy - and people are beginning to laugh at him. He feels very sad and alone, until four children find him and show him the way home, with much fun along the way. 


I chanced upon this book while hunting for some good story books for my son. I was not aware about its celebrated author, Michael Rosen, of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ fame. But this book took me by surprise. It clicked with my 3 year old from the first day, and then we read it every day for about a month. He is still not tired of this book.

First of all the illustrations are gorgeous. I am totally in love with them. Secondly, the story is engaging and dynamic. It is interesting to follow the bear through the city in his adventure. Through the bear’s eyes, the young kids look at different aspects of city life.

Another very attractive aspect of this book is the use of onomatopoeia (yes, I just discovered this word, which means ‘a word that phonetically imitates, resembles or suggests the source of the sound that it describes’). In simple words, the author has used similar-sounding, rhyming words. We all know how kids love such tongue-twisters. 

Sample these lines:

“And I play with the waves all day.
Splishety splash
Splishety splash
Splishety splashety splish.”

Or these:

“The sound of the city in my ears.
Vroomy vroom
Vroomy vroom
Vroomy vroomity vroom.”

Moreover, this book is a great bedtime book despite all the commotion and laughter-inducing repetitive / rhyming words because it slows down towards the end. After much splashing about in the waves, the kids and the bear go to sleep inside the cave, surrounded by the tranquility of the sea at night.

It is a must-read. You are going to love reading this to your kids as much as the kids are going to enjoy listening to the adventures of the bear.  

An Inside view of the book:

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