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The Children’s Book Blog Christmas Countdown: The Bear’s Winter House by John Yeoman, illustrated by Quentin Blake

Rebecca Davies

10 225x300 The Children’s Book Blog Christmas Countdown: The Bear’s Winter House by John Yeoman, illustrated by Quentin BlakeFor December I’ve decided to turn the children’s book blog into a sort of literary advent calendar. Every day of the month I’ll be posting a short recommendation of a wintry or Christmassy children’s book to warm your cockles or, in some cases, chill the blood. There’ll be something for readers of all ages, from picture books all the way up to YA. My choice for December 10th is John Yeoman and Quentin Blake’s The Bear’s Winter House.

This picture book about a hospitable bear and his hibernation house is now over 40 years old. One of the things I love most about it is that there’s basically no moral to the story – unless it’s to choose your friends wisely. The bear invites the hen, the pig, the squirrel and the hedgehog to share his cosy home for the winter. Unfortunately they take advantage of his generous nature by throwing a party and keeping him awake until spring.

Quentin Blake’s instantly recognisable illustrations really bring the characters to life – especially the long-suffering bear, whose facial expression somehow manages to convey his polite despair despite consisting of only two dots for his eyes and a line for his mouth.

Check back tomorrow to see which book is lurking behind the ‘calendar door’ for December 11th and catch up on my previous recommendations here

Rebecca Davies is a journalist and children’s author. She is currently working on a Young Adult fantasy novel set in Hackney. You can follow her on Twitter as @TheStoryMonster

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