Are you afraid of the dark?

There are some books that no matter how many times I have read them to children I never grow tired of reading. One such book is Can’t You Sleep Little Bear by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Barbara Firth. Molly Keane from the Sunday Times rightly describes this book as “The most perfect children’s book ever written or illustrated. It evaporates and dispels all fear of the dark”

One of the things I have wanted most for my children, has been for them not to have a fear of the dark. I hold my hands up and admit that even as an adult, at times, that familiar childhood feeling of being afraid can creep up on me as I walk through the dark hallway in my new house. When I was a child my grandmother had a huge house with a long dark landing at the end of which was a full length mirror on the wall. I’d run past that mirror every time when I got up in the middle of the night. I was terrified I would look in the mirror and see something else other than me looking back at me!


Can’t You Sleep Little Bear tells the story of Big Bear and Little Bear. The Bear cave they live in looks to me to be the cosiest place on earth. Little Bear though is scared of the dark and Big Bear does his best to dispel his fears of the “dark all around us” by bringing him bigger and bigger lanterns. In the end Big Bear realises that the only way to stop Little Bear being afraid is by bringing him the biggest lantern of them all – the moon.

Don’t be scared of the dark and share Can’t You Sleep Little Bear with your little one to show them that there is nothing to be afraid of. In fact the darkness can be a magical place too.


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