Every few weeks a package arrives in the mail for that sends my girls squealing around in delight. It’s the Parragon Book Buddies mail, with the latest book for us to read. My girls know that means story time, curled up on the sofa, followed by crafts, art or play acting. Oh, how I wish we had animal fancy dress for this book. It was so lovely and Wakey Wakey Big Brown Bear is without doubt our favourite book so far.

Written by Tracey Corderoy, Wakey Wakey Big Brown Bear has two major themes, useful for learning: season changes (autumn to winter) and friendship.

In this beautiful story, Big Brown Bear decides he wants to stay awake in the winter as he misses out on all the fun: rolling around in the leaves, jumping in puddles, and building snow bears. He tries to stay awake, but his friends convince him to sleep and they’ll wake him for the fun.

Try as they might, once Big Brown Bear is sleeping, they can’t wake him, so they decide to save a bit of each season for him. They save leaves, rain and, in stead of snow, empty out the contents of a cushion for him. Big Brown Bear wakes disappointed to find that he missed all the fun again, until he sees the efforts his friends have gone to for him, and has lots of fun with them.

I tried to draw a few pictures of Big Brown Bear, but he ended up looking more fish-like, so I photocopied two pages from the book (I’m not sure if that’s actually legal, but hey ho. I’m not profiting from it!) in black and white, and Ameli and Aviya coloured him in the different seasonal activities.

Then I took an A4 page and drew a line two thirds of the way down, and marked the two columns Autumn and Winter. Ameli then glued the appropriate activities under the seasons.

Big Brown Bear

Later in the day we went for a walk and the girls jumped in puddles and rolled in leaves, just like Big Brown Bear, and of course, we don’t have snow yet, and I wasn’t about to start tearing apart a pillow. Instead I blew touchable bubbles all over the room and the girls ran and jumped and grabbed them like snow flakes.

A beautiful story, fun activities, and a definite favourite in our bookshelf.

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