Stormy night by Salina Yoon

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781408862315
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Family, Storms, Being scared. When Bear and his toy bunny, Floppy cannot sleep because of the loud storm raging outside, Bear tells Floppy not to worry as his love will keep him safe, and he sings to him. They snuggle down into the warm soft bed, but when it begins to thunder, the two dive under the bed. Mama comes in to check on Bear and asks if she can stay the night, and then in comes Papa, also intent on staying in Bear's bed. Together they weather the storm, safely together, secure in the knowledge that they love each other and will keep each other safe. Papa tickles Bear's ear, Mama kisses his nose, and Bear reads a book to Floppy. Eventually the storm subsides, as all storms do, needing a rest like everyone else, and the Bear family goes to sleep as well.
Salina is well known for her Penguin books in which themes of friendship, love and togetherness figure, and this one about Bear is no different. The warmth and comfort of a loving family is tantamount to Bear feeling safe and secure. Each activity they do during the night reinforces their togetherness and the comfort given by them all to each other.
Salina Yoon's brief text tells enough and combined with her bold, black outlined illustrations, will be a plus for any young class talking about feeling safe, or about their fears and how to deal with them. The brightly coloured pages will entreat young eyes to search for the many things placed on the page redolent of family life, and the use of a variety of different spacings will encourage their looking closely at placement and framing. I love the use of white, with some pages full of colour and others more subdued. I love the framing of the window used several times in the book, and I particularly like the images of the family when Bear was young, made to look like and old photograph album.
Fran Knight