It’s over two years since I read and reviewed children’s book Sarah’s Shadow by Nick Jones in a post you can find here, so I was delighted when Nick sent me his latest children’s book One Night In Beartown in return for an honest review. Now, I’m not really accepting new books for review at the moment, but there’s such a lovely background story to One Night In Beartown that I had to feature the book here on Linda’s Book Bag. You can find out more here.
Published by Full Media today, 30th November 2020, there are several places where you can buy One Night In Beartown, including from the publisher, the author, via Kickstarter and on Amazon UK and Amazon US.
One Night in Beartown
From the award-winning duo that brought you Sarah’s Shadow comes another magical adventure…
When bear-mad schoolgirl Sandy Lane has her beloved teddy bear Berisford confiscated at school, she dreads the thought of going a whole night without his cuddles.
Little does she know that a bear-rilliant night awaits her, involving Berisford, a bear statue and many other wonderful friends!
Published by Full Media on 30th November 2020, One Night in Beartown is available for purchase here.
My Review of One Night in Beartown
Sandy’s bear, Berisford, has been confiscated at school!
One Night In Beartown is a glorious book that deserves to be snapped up by a production company and turned into a Christmas tradition along with those well known animations of books by Raymond Briggs or Julia Donaldson. It has everything from bullying to peril, adventure to joy as Sarah prepares to spend her first night without Berisford. Children and adults alike will love the themes, the storytelling and the wonderful illustrations by Si Clark.
I must dwell on the illustrations for a moment as they bring the text alive, and provide so many opportunities to use the book with individual or groups of children. With a style that will appeal to children of all ages, the pictures have a richness and depth. I loved the diversity of the bears, with some being multi-coloured and unusually patterned, because their inclusion will help convey acceptance of difference and understanding of those who don’t always look like us. The small attention to detail affords a lovely opportunity to develop numeracy, perhaps counting the number of bears in Sandy’s bedroom for example, and I could envisage children designing their own bear, so that creativity can be encouraged too.
I thought the language in One Night In Beartown was pitch perfect. Much of the vocabulary is familiar but there is also a smattering of unfamiliar words that are completely understandable in their context, allowing children to expand their vocabulary.
However, educational opportunities aside, what is so lovely about One Night In Beartown is that Nick Jones knows exactly how much children become attached to a particular toy and how they can be devastated by being parted from them. Indeed, I can see One Night In Beartown being a brilliant way for parents to broach a similar loss with their own children, providing comfort if need be as they discover all is not lost when Berisford is away from Sandy. There really is a lovely story here, based around friendship and love with gentle comeuppance for a bully and a happy ending for Sandy and Berisford.
I really enjoyed One Night In Beartown. It’s a delightful tale that children and adults alike will love. I recommend One Night In Beartown most highly.
About Nick Jones
Nick Jones is an author based in Congleton, Cheshire, but originally from Bristol. He has written a series of joke books and an illustrated children’s book.
His first joke book, Gagged and Bound, was written during the summer of 2014 and was published by Full Media Ltd later in the year to much critical acclaim, garnering positive reviews from numerous book review websites such as Reader’s Favorite and The Bookbag.
A follow-up, Gagged and Bound 2, was released a year later and received a similarly positive response, and in 2017 Nick returned with the third instalment. Described by one reviewer as a ‘master gagsmith’, Nick’s joke style is heavily pun-based and has been compared to Tim Vine, Milton Jones and Stewart Francis.
Nick has also written an illustrated children’s book called Sarah’s Shadow, which was published in December 2017.