Don’t You Feel Well, Sam?

Don’t You Feel Well, Sam? by Amy Hest, illustrated by Anita Jeram

Don't You Feel Well SamEveryone knows how it feels to be sick with a cold.  And, parents know how they feel when their child is ill.  Ideally, we’d like to drop everything and just hold the sick child, comforting them, and spending quiet time with them.  Sometimes the reality is less than ideal – with the worried parent rushing around changing sheets and pjs (for the really messy kind of sickness), taking temperatures, administering medicine, urging the drinking of fluids and the wisdom of a nap.  But, sometimes, the ideal happens, and we get that quiet, comforting time with our sick child, helping them feel better.

In Don’t You Feel Well, Sam?, we return to the sweet, comforting world of Sam and his mother, Mrs. Bear, from Kiss Good Night.

Mrs. Bear is tucking Sam into bed, and discovers he has a cough.  Mrs. Bear gets cough medicine, but Sam doesn’t want to take it.  Sam says it tastes bad.  Then, the spoon is too big.  Then, there is too much medicine.

Mrs. Bear looks out the window and sees that it will snow soon.  She tells Sam that after he takes his cough medicine, they will go downstairs and wait for the snow together.  Sam takes the medicine.

“He spluttered and snorted and made a big face, and the syrup went down.”

Mrs. Bear and Sam go into the kitchen, light a fire, make tea (with honey), and sit together near the window waiting for snow.  Mrs. Bear tells Sam a story, then tells it again because Sam likes it so much.

“All through the night, Mrs. Bear and Sam sat in the big purple chair and waited.  And finally, it snowed.”

The illustrations compliment the text beautifully – showing everything (house, Sam, Mrs. Bear) in a very loving, cozy way.  One of the last pages shows Sam sitting on his mother’s lap in the big purple chair – both of them asleep – while it snows outside.  The last page shows them outside, building a snowbear together.  A sweet, comforting book to share with a child.


Kiss Good Night

Kiss-Good-NightBedtime often is hard for young children.  Maybe it has something to do with being alone and away from their trusted grownup.  Saying goodnight, and actually staying in bed to fall asleep, was difficult for my children when they were preschooolers.

Kiss Good Night by Amy Hest (illustrated by Anita Jeram) was a bedtime favorite.  Hest’s fun text pairs beautifully with Jeram’s illustrations, giving readers a playful, cozy feel for the story and characters.

The story begins with Sam, a young bear, going to bed on a “dark and stormy night.”  His mother, Mrs. Bear, reads to him and tucks him in.  Sam is safe inside his house and his room while the wind blows and the rain comes down outside.  Mrs. Bear and Sam have a bedtime routine that involves reading, snuggling, arranging stuffed animals, and drinking warm milk.  After each step in the bedtime routine, Mrs. Bear asks Sam if he is ready now.  Sam shakes his head and says, “I’m waiting.”

After they have done all the usual things in their routine, Mrs. Bear smiles a nice bear smile and says:

“…let me think.  We’ve read

a book and made a nest,

arranged your friends,

and had warm milk.

Sam…what did I forget?”

Mrs. Bear pretends to think about it, then remembers that it is a special good night kiss.

“And she bent way down,

kissing Sam once

and twice

and then twice more.”

The story ends with Mrs. Bear saying good night and leaving the room while Sam falls asleep on that dark and stormy night.

This is a sweet book – excellent for sharing with young children at bedtime.  I confess to borrowing that special good night kiss idea a few times as well, when my not-quite-sleepy ones needed extra reassurance at bedtime.