The Little Bear Stories

I was reading the Guardian online, and found the obituary of Barbara Firth. She was an illustrator, mostly known for some children´s stories called "The Little Bear Stories", written by Martin Waddell. Being of a curious nature, I started click-clicking away, and before I came to my senses I had clicked the book into an envelope going my way, from Greener Books, London.

What does an old(er) lady like me want with a book for very smallish children? I rationalized the purchase by telling myself that when I had satisfied my curiosity about the illustrations, I could send it on to some friend´s child. And, you know, the book cost nothing. Postage was 4.02 British pounds, and the book itself was sold for a symbolic sum of 0,01 pounds. That´s right, one penny. It costs more to breathe, practically. No way does that penny cover the cost of acquiring that book (even if it was given to them, they still had to take it), putting it on a shelf, getting an ad out on amazon, getting it into an envelope, even just printing the receipt. None of those things. That business can only be run by true booklovers.

The drawings are beyond gorgeous. Intensely wonderful. And the stories are heart-melting. Very politically correct too, as neither Big Bear or Little Bear is of any particular sex. Not that they are queer exactly. They are both just bears. Like humans might be just humans, if there was no gender police around.

The bears are living in a Bear Cave, reading Bear Books, playing Bear Games, and mostly falling asleep (eventually) in the Bear Chair. Simple, but brilliant.

And forget that I´m passing this on. I love this book, gollum-like. It speaks to my soul, and I shall keep it on my bedside table forever. And all the children I know are far too old for it anyway (I am totally not rationalizing that). And it´s translated to Swedish, so they have probably all read it. For sure.

"Can´t you sleep, Little Bear?"

No comments:

Post a Comment