‘Bear wakes up early from hibernation and decides if she can’t sleep then at least she can make a snowman. She soon meets Rabbit, who is an Expert in Gravity, who never ever smiles, and has never said the word F-U-N before. But with avalanches and hungry wolves on the prowl, Rabbit soon realised that sometimes it’s nice to have a friend on your side and someone to share your winter with.’
Jim Field is a master of expression and the perfect match for Julian Gough’s writing. There’s a lovely mix of poo humour and mild peril, brilliant for reading aloud dramatically with comedy voices, making this a book that will become a firm favourite with kids and adults alike.
The thing that really caught me was the balance of the text. It doesn’t talk down to children but doesn’t ‘do a Pixar’ and try too hard to appeal to the adults and end up going over the children’s heads. It’s perfect for newly confident readers; there’s not too much text per page but Gough uses complicated sentence structure and wonderful vocabulary that will challenge an independent reader. We had a great discussion about the language and structure of the text and why some words had a capital letter for emphasis, even though it ‘breaks the phonics rules’ (take that, Gove/Morgan). I love it when a book opens up a reader’s eyes like that. Bravo, Gough, Field and the Hodder team. I can’t wait for the next instalment!