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Customer Review

26 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment for three reasons, 12 Jan. 2009
This review is from: The Bedtime Bear: A Pop-up Book for Bedtime (Flexibound)
This is not a bad book. There is lots going on on each page, though this is also a weakness: its a bit chaotic. I do like the book - and so does my one and a half year old - but as a parent I do not "get into" reading this book in the way I do with, say, the Poppy Cat series. I see three reasons that people might find this disappointing:

1. Product description. This is not a pop-up, as described. Pop-ups spring out from the pages when you open them (see Poppy Cat's Dream - excellent and creative in this sense). This is a lift-the-flap book with an assortment of flaps to lift up (a snake under a bush, a wombat in behind the shower curtain etc). Many of them are quirky for the sake of being quirky and don't really add anything to the "story" - in fact, there isn't really a story, just lots of random scenes strung together by the fact that a bear is on his way to bed.

2. Language and grammar. The language and grammar is quite poor and just wrong in places. "Mices eating ices" might sound creative and might rhyme but a one year old has enough quirks of language - endearing as they are - without encouraging such poor language use. Other bits are nonsensical:

"Now you're busy in the bathroom
Blowing bubbles with the soap.
Is anybody hiding?
(You can tell me that I hope)."

The last line just doesn't make any sense. What are we supposed to be hoping for? "Hope" just rhymes with "soap" but nothing more. On this page a bison - one of many totally random characters - pops up out of a basin. Clever use of words? Some might think so. I think its just plain silly.

3. Poor characterisation. There is no properly identified central character to relate to, though there is a bear that is on its way to bed. Whilst there might be lots of stuff going on, and lots of tabs for children to pull to make things jump out, there is little in the book beyond that. Its all random with no sense of any character to any of the animals in the book. They don't do anything or say anything; they don't seem to feel or think anything whatsoever. They are just like cardboard cut-outs.

Sorry if that seems hard. I do like the book, actually. But with all these 5 star reviews, it is about time someone was honest about its shortcomings.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Jun 2009 11:00:27 BDT
A. Galilian says:
Thank you for such a detailed and informative review. Very helpful. I've changed my mind about buying this book!

Posted on 29 Nov 2009 03:37:29 GMT
Jane Louise says:
"You can tell me that, I hope?" is referring to the child enjoying the story - seems obvious really, but then, we enjoy reading "Jabberwocky" and other delightful nonsense with our child. These books are fun (and a good little lesson in the fun you can have with language), a little bit daft, and can be very entertaining for children, if the person reading to the child is willing to have some fun too. ;)

Posted on 21 Feb 2010 13:41:11 GMT
J. Murray says:
That's a shame that someone has changed their mind about buying this book after reading this review because it seems that children from 9 months to 4 years old love it (my 13 month old son's face lights up when we open it). There isn't much of a storyline but the verses are fun and the illustrations by Axel Scheffller are, as usual, wonderful.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Dec 2011 00:29:50 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 11 Dec 2011 00:30:41 GMT]

Posted on 11 Nov 2012 23:09:32 GMT
JoJo13 says:
All I have to say is Lighten up! There are far worse examples of poor use of language every time they watch cbeebies this was a charming book of silliness which myself and son adore. Its the saddest thing that people would be put of by your melodramatic review of a childrens book after all its not meant to please you but a child and I don't think they would be worried about if the bear has feelings!

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Dec 2013 02:48:01 GMT
dlp says:
Perhaps you are right, but I tried to be honest and balanced in my review. I tried not to just give a subjective feeling about the book, as many reviewers do, but explain what I felt are its weaknesses, in a nutshell: poor words and grammar (other books being worse no excuse for this) and a lack of a central character. I wrote it to counter the many five star reviews since no one seems to want to draw attention to these things. I wouldn't say don't buy it, but just be aware, whilst it is fun and busy, its also not a strong "story" book.
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