On the third day of our Holiday Guide I thought we'd close our eyes and ears to the overload of Christmas temporarily and instead I'll take you on a personal, seasonal, nostalgic meander. Enter: The Winter Bear.
DAY THREE: The Winter Bear
By Ruth Craft, Illustrated by Erik Blegvad
Of course the Christmas holidays are tangled in traditions, religious, national, constructed, commercial. But threaded through these unavoidable (and obviously not-all-bad) ones are so many others too. The small ones, the seemingly insignificant ones, the family ones...
And so with that, I'm launching into my favourite childhood book. The Winter Bear. Do you know it? First published in October 1976, (but inexplicably out of print now) I searched for this copy because the memory, not so much a Christmas tradition, but definitely a seasonal memory, of being read this story is such a strong and glorious one!
The language is lovely, the illustrations are beautiful and the story, despite telling of a bitterly cold winter's day, is full of warmth, gentleness and kindness. It's the sort of story that warms you through to your middle.
I can't help reading it with some nostalgia (...probably somewhat falsely placed, after all that's the thing about nostalgia...!) but I'm pretty sure which one of the three children I was, and which my sister's were (are?!) too.