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DON’T WAKE UP THE BEAR! by Marjorie Dennis Murray


by Marjorie Dennis Murray & illustrated by Patricia Wittmann

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7614-5107-2
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

In the cumulative-tale tradition of creatures sheltering in a small space, Murray packs five wild animals into a snow-covered cave with a hibernating bear. As each animal enters the cave, complaining of the cold, the refrain goes: “ ‘You may come in,’ whispered the hare. ‘But don’t wake up the bear.’ ” The last animal is a little mouse with the sniffles who sneezes in the bear’s ear and causes him to wake up with a huge growl. The animals scatter, and in a satisfying conclusion, the bear is shown finding something to eat, fortunately not a fellow creature, but berries poking out of the snow. Wittmann’s winsome watercolors provide appealing animal characters and a suitably scary bear, with double-page spreads that will work well with a group. Additional creative touches include some key phrases set in wintry blue and pale blue snowflakes decorating the white space around the text. The pitch-perfect text is skillfully told with repeated phrases and a polished rhythm that will make this a natural addition to story hours with themes of bears, winter, or animals seeking shelter. (Picture books. 3-6)