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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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on June 16, 2004
As I am sure you know, author Karma Wilson began her illustrious picture book writing career with the charming "Bear Snores On". Since this impressive debut, Bear has gone on to appear in further Karma Wilson outings. Yet it all began here, with a tale of hibernation and a friendly hootenanny of wild animals.

A big brown bear, his teapot and other cave utensils strewn hither and yon, is hibernating in the winter. Outside it is blustery and cold but (as we are repeatedly told), "The bear/ snores/ on". One day a timid mouse enters the lair and lights himself a small fire for warmth. No reaction from the snoring bear. Soon a hare joins the mouse and they have a cup of tea. No bearish interruptions. Then there's a badger. Then a mole, and a wren, and a raven, and a gopher. In no time at all a full flown party is in swing, ending when a small fleck of pepper causes the bear to sneeze. Suddenly he's awake and he's angry, but not for the reason you'd think. No, Bear's just upset that everyone had a party without him. But soon, the animals reassure the bear that the party can definitely continue with him, and their host entertains by telling them stories far into the night. By morning everyone is fast asleep. Except (oh irony) the bear.

There's not much to the tale, honestly, but it's not the plot that's important. Ms. Wilson has an ear for delightful cadences and rhyming sequences. Just listen to the following sequence, "An itty-bitty mouse/pitter-pat, tip-toe/creep-crawls in the cave/from the fluff-cold snow". I love how that (and every other) line scans. Accompanying these deft syllables is the art of Jane Chapman. With her guidance, the walls of the cave (illuminated by a crackling fire) glow a homey auburn. Characters are both realistically rendered and adorably fuzzy. I was particularly fond of a scene from out in the blustery snow where, looking into the cave, we see the black silhouettes of the dancing creatures against the yellow glow of the fire. Color and texture are alive and well with this artist, I assure you.

"Bear Snores On" isn't the MOST memorable of picture books, but its pleasant enough. It's perfect for the child that is frightened easily (nothing bad happens, unless you count bear growling at one point) and gentle in its characterizations. All in all, a class act all around. If you need a good bedtime story to tuck the little ones in with, I highly recommend the electric boogaloo that is "Bear Snores On".
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on March 3, 2002
"In a cave in the woods,/in his deep, dark lair,/through the long cold winter/sleeps a great brown bear..." A little mouse arrives and seeks shelter from the freezing cold and snowy winter, and builds a fire to stay warm. "But the bear snores on." Soon a rabbit joins the mouse and they pop popcorn and brew warm tea in the now cozy cave. "But the bear snores on." In comes a badger, then a gopher, mole, wren, and raven. But the bear snores on, oblivious to all the eating and drinking and partying now taking place in his lair. That is, until a small pepper fleck from the stew lands right on his nose and he sneezes. Bear wakes up, takes a look around at all the goings on, and gnarls and snarls, roars and rumbles, jumps and stomps, growls and grumbles. He is one unhappy bear. But never fear, his woodland friends know just what to do..... Karma Wilson has written a gentle and inviting story that's sure to take the chill out of a cold winter's day. Her joyous, lyrical, rhyming text is full of humor, wordplay, alliteration, and sound effects, and just begs to be read aloud. With its repetitive refrain, "But the bear snores on", little ones will enjoy being able to "help" you read. Jane Chapman's delightful colorful and expressive illustrations, in soft tones, bring the engaging characters to life, and gives the story a warm and cozy feel. Perfect for preschoolers, Bear Snores On is a sweet and entertaining picture book, with a charming and amusing ending, you don't want to miss.
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on January 2, 2002
Bear Snores On is Ms. Wilson's first picture book and it is WONDERFUL! Written in flowing, musical rhyme, the structure is flexible, never stilted, to allow the story to unfold as it should. Clever word choices add to the feel of the story, be it the cold winter with "fluff-cold snow" or the animals sharing food and fun ("They tweet and they titter. They chat and they chitter."). A recurring refrain tells us that "The bear snores on" while other woodland creatures gather in his cave to escape the winter weather and end up having quite a party. Jane Chapman's cute illustrations will hold the attention of young listeners as will the story, the word choices, onomatopoeia ("And they nibble and they munch with a chew, chomp, crunch!"), and the refrain, which little ones will love to say along with the reader. And the twist at the end will always bring a smile. This is a book that everyone will want to read over and over again. I'm already looking forward to Ms. Wilson's next book, Moose Tracks, which is due out later this year. Hooray, Karma!
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on January 3, 2002
This is Karma Wilson's first book, but after you read it, you can bet you'll know that it will definately not be her last! Talent abounds with this book from Margaret McElderry Books/Simon and Schuster. Jane Chapman's pictures are refreshingly unique, and endearing.
When you pick up this book, you will think that you are picking up a piece of art.
And you are!
The text and the pictures simply sing with the flurry of the winter snowflakes. Soft, unexpected, rich, deep, and crisp!
The story is about a bear who keeps snoring on, even after some animals stop by to have tea and popcorn with him. But the party goes on without him as he sleeps. The chomp and crunch of the rabbit, badger and mouse eating honey-nuts- still doesn't wake him up! A fleck of pepper finally rouses him, and they do the party all over again for the sake of the bear. :))
Buy two. for your best friend who will want to borrow your copy!!!
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on June 11, 2002
While the winter storm rages, bear snores on. Guest after guest arrives in bear's lair, and bear STILL snores on. The story is funny (and has a moment of sadness) without losing meaning. Another delight of the book is the text - not just what the words are saying, but the way the letters are CAPITALIZED and sometimes bold-print, or smaller than the normal type. This really highlights the emphasis on the emotions or activities of the animals, including the bear (whose snoring seems to get louder as the activities around him become more animated). The story seems "just right" - kind of like Goldilocks finding the right bed to sleep in - and the full-page illustrations are great attention-keepers. A book kids will want to read again and again.
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on January 6, 2003
I am pleased to find so many jewels by incident, and this is one of them. After searching for 'Karma', this book stood out as one of the least related to it topically, but I was interested in seeing Bear Snore On. It turned out to be a wonderful children's book, funny and fun to read aloud. Although not directly related to karma as a concept, the book seems to have a theme of friendship. The animals help eachother out, with fires and food, everyone making room for the next. Even when the BIG bear wakes up, growling and fussing, the fun doesn't stop & more room is made for them all to play.
Fun, funny, and a touching message, Bear Snores On is dead on when it comes to good children's books.
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on December 1, 2003
My 2.5 year old son has asked me to read this book endlessly since we received it. Besides gorgeous illustrations, the story is so cute and full of wonderful onomatopoeia words like GNARL, roar, twitter, pitter-pat, etc. that make the story so much fun to read and the kids enjoy it tremendously.
Bear sleeps deeply in his den and the other animals seek shelter from the cold night. They have tea and nuts and soup, and bear wakes up to find a party going on without him! Bear is devastated, not because of the animals in his den, but because they were having fun without him. We love the illustrations and the story--can't wait to buy the other book about Bear, "Bear Wants More."
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on November 4, 2002
From babes to collectors of children's books, this is a MUST HAVE! The illustrations are BEAUTIFUL, the wording is cleverly rhymed and the story will leave you and your children smiling grandly. My one and four year olds can't get enough of this book ... and neither can I!
It would amaze me to meet someone who did not think this book was wonderful and well worth the price. The binding is well done to ensure many good reads. The eyes are drawn to each page as your voice hits a hilarious beat with the words. Sound effects by your child will add to the fun of the book, while allowing them to participate in the fun of reading together. BUY THIS BOOK AND YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED!
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on November 22, 2002
I first saw this book in a Discovery Toys catalog and love the fact that I saved more than $5 buying it on
This is the MOST wonderful book. It is our bed-time story every night and my 2 year old knows it by heart. She has learned all of the animals, the noises they make (chew chomp crunch) and shouts BEAR SNORES ON at every page!
This book is beautifully illustrated, simple enough for a toddler but detailed enough for Mom and & Dad to enjoy!
BUY THIS BOOK, you will NOT be disapointed!
We can't wait for Bear Wants More which is due out soon!
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on April 20, 2004
This book has been a favorite in my house from day one. Great text,the phrase Bear Snores On continues throughout the book and each time it gets a little louder and I find that children like to say it with you louder and louder each time until bear finally wakes up from a pepper flake that made him sneeze. (My son's favorite part)The illustations are beautifully done and fit the text perfectly. Definitely one of my best book buys of the year. I Highly recommend Bear Snores On.
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