My youngest child is a boy who hears things that no one else in our house hears… the gurgle of the water in the radiators, the whisper of the slightest wind in the tree outside his bedroom window. To him the sound of the extractor fan in the bathroom is the roar of a ferocious lion. He’ll turn to me, his already big blue eyes wide with concern and ask me “What’s that noise?” He is never happy with a simple “I can’t hear anything George, or its nothing to worry about!” – this boy needs answers, before he can settle his overactive mind.
Lets’s Go Home Little Bear by Martin Waddell is book which deals with the theme of anxiety. The ever loveable Big Bear and Little Bear go for a walk in the snow covered woods. On their return journey, Little Bear is having a whole heap of fun, slipping and sliding, when suddenly his ears prick up and he tunes in to the myriad of sounds around him. Big Bear ever reliable, continues walking – plod, plod, plod in front of him.
“I thought I heard something!” Little Bear said.
What did you hear?” said Big Bear.
“Plod, Plod, Plod,” said Little Bear.
“I think it’s a plodder!”
So the story continues with Little Bears imagination turning even the sounds of melting snow into something needing explanation. Every parent reading this book will remember the frustration of a journey that should be quick and easy seeming to take forever… but at the same time every step of the way creating memories. “Let’s go home Little Bear” is the constant refrain from eternally patient Big Bear.
Finally they reach the cosy warm Bear Cave with Big Bear carrying Little Bear on his shoulders. Barbara Firth’s illustrations are as joyous as the text. Big Bear and Little Bear settle down under a blanket as Big Bear tells the story of a simple walk, that created a whole new world in Little Bear’s mind.
I love this book because no matter how many times I read it and I have read it countless times both in school and to my own children it reminds me of to two things…. that imagination is a gift and that we all of us need to have that feeling of wanting to go home….. (oh and I sooo want to live in a Bear cave just like theirs!)