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BEARfulness How Shrieky Bear Learned to Sleep (A Bearfulness book for children & caregivers).

When Shrieky won't sleep like all other bears in HiBEARnation City, Grandpa Wisely teaches him he can be his best bear self and rest too.

Photo of Sheila Lewis

Written by

The sun shivered.

The sky snowed.

All bears  in HiBEARnation

got ready to sleep through winter.

All but Shrieky,

the noisiest bear around.

.  

His parents sent him to bed.

“Don’t make a peep, a sound,” they said.

But he couldn’t, wouldn’t sleep.


He peeked out his window and saw

sky pull its blanket

over each twinkly light

and tall buildings darken

in the snowy night.


He played, read,

ate cookies in bed,

yum, yum, crumb, crumb.

But he couldn't, wouldn’t sleep.


Time passed slowly on the clock.

Tick, tock.

Then he heard a rock, rock,

Grandpa Wisely in his chair.

“Hey buddy. What’s up?”


“I want to play, not sleep.”


“Hmmm, you look like a bear,

but you don’t act like a bear.

Bears sleep all winter, it’s called

hibernation. Bears need rest

to be their best. You do too.”


“But Grandpa, what should I do?”


 “Let's try something new,

BEARfulness. Close your eyes tight.

What do you see?”

 

“A bright, sparkly light.”


“Good. Breathe in. Puff your belly out.

Breathe out, make your belly flat.”

“It’s hard. My belly wobbles.”

BEARfulness takes practice. Keep at it,”

Grandpa Wisely said.


So Shrieky did. He saw dim lights,

dreamy sights, then nothing.

At last Shrieky, 

who couldn't, wouldn't sleep,

slept like a bear.


Now Grandpa Wisely could also rest.

He set the clock for spring vacation.

And did what ALL bears do best,

hibernaton.


Good Night bears, Good Night you.  

Why don’t you try sleeping too?

 

 

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

Vivid pictures, snowy city sky line (Philly) outside Shrieky's apartment window, text, sound effects, fuzzy bears, objects to touch, rhyming words, and two new words, invite engagement with a caring adult reader. My vision is to explore an everyday theme like bedtime, adding the playful twist of "BEARfulness," the simple science of hibernation, and a calming breathing and meditation exercise to assure everyone a good night's sleep, leaving a harsher world outside the window.

Share your suggested book title

BEARFULNESS How Shrieky Bear Learned to Sleep (A Bearfulness Book for Children and Caregivers) Read to 0-3. Older children can read to younger, too.

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

The sun shivered. The sky snowed. All bears in HiBEARnation got ready to sleep through winter. All but Shrieky, the noisiest bear around. His parents sent him to bed. “Don’t make a peep, a sound,” they said. But he couldn’t, wouldn’t sleep. He peeked out his window and saw sky pull its blanket over each twinkly light and tall buildings darken in the snowy night. He played, read, ate cookies in bed, yum, yum, crumb crumb, but he couldn't, wouldn’t sleep. Time passed slowly on the clock. Tick, tock. Then he heard a rock, rock, Grandpa Wisely in his chair. “Hey buddy. What’s up?” “I don't want to sleep.” “Hmmm, you look like a bear, but you don’t act like a bear. Bears sleep all winter. t’s called hibernation. Bears need rest to be their best. You do too.” “But Grandpa, what should I do?” “Let's try something new, BEARfulness. Close your eyes tight. What do you see?” “I see a bright, sparkly light.” “Good. Breathe in. Puff your belly out. Breathe out, make your belly flat.” “It’s hard. My belly wobbles.” “BEARfulness takes practice. Keep at it,” Grandpa Wisely said. So Shrieky did, in his bed. He saw dim lights, dreamy sights, then nothing. At last Shrieky, who couldn't wouldn't sleep, slept like a bear. Now Grandpa Wisely could also rest. He set the clock for spring vacation. And did what ALL bears do best, hibernaton. Good Night bears, Good Night you. Why don’t you try sleeping too?

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

This image shows multigenerational reading--including a grandmother, mom who happens to be a speech therapist and early childhood educator, and 14 month old. I viewed the resource list, Milestones, Mister Rogers, Personas. etc. For rhythm, language development, and research, I read many diverse 0-3 books, read my story to 1-5 year olds, and then edited my story, adding sounds (like Yum Yum), repetition, internal rhyme and external rhyme. Caregivers can use their voices to accent lively verbs and rhyme patterns. They can draw on the illustrations to point out things inside and outside Shrieky's home. Finally, the supplemental script offers rest/sleep meditations.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

I have several cousins and friends in Phila., inner city, and suburbs, like Swarthmore. I used to visit friends in Germantown, and took short trips to see relatives and visit the museums, historic areas, and walk around the neighborhoods. Years ago, I took my children to see the Liberty Bell and other historic sites, and took many photos of winding streets, old Rittenhouse Square, marketplaces, and people enjoying Philly.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

Pictures illustrate space in which an urban child lives: a small room, perhaps shared with a sibling or grandparent, or just a nook in a living room. Shrieky looks out to city street to see the wider world. I didn't describe details to specifically, as that's illustrator's role; I'd take photos for authenticity and sketch rough pictures, including of the bear characters, their varied sizes and personalities. Main benefits: hearing imaginative language in a story simply told. Hibernation, gently woven in, is a bonus science concept that can engage very young and older children. Bearfulness concept targets intra-personal skills, resilience, creativity, and hardiness.

Location: Country

New York City, United States.

Location: State or Department

New York.

Location: City

New York City.

Website URL (optional question)

Currently under construction, www.sheilaklewis.com, about writing, creativity, and meditation. I have a site www.Spandacards.com, for an adult instructional card deck: "Spanda Cards for the Entrepreneurial Spirit, bridging ancient wisdom and business acumen." I also have a children's card deck, "My Calm Place." Much of my portfolio (as a curriculum writer) is in books or on line, not available except in print. I'd send photos for second round.

Tell us more about you / your team

This recent photo is of me in front of brick wall of large building on my block. I've taken 100s of photos around New York City, of children, family members here and in Israel, including of 7 babies born in last two years. My team consists of a tribe of muses, two early childhood reading specialists, a colleague who heads "The Knowledge Project," a literacy & mentoring org., readers who have been in book clubs I've run (for grades 3-6), several artists/art teachers, a well known, retired illustrator and another illustrator, who both specialize in animal drawings, a design & product packager, two brand strategists, and anyone who wishes to enhance the personas/qualities of Shrieky and his entourage--including my two amazing grandkids!

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

My own rough sketches, perhaps at a later date, will complete this. A color and mood board, portraits of main characters inside/outside world, would come. I love collage as in Eric Carle's work, but I'm not wed to one style of visual identity. I will collect and add images as I can.

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • Yes

If yes, please list titles and publications.

1.Stress-proofing Your Child, Mind-Body Exercises to Enhance Your Child's Health. co-author. 2.My Calm Place: Yoga, Mindfulness & Meditation Strategies for Children. card deck, co-author. 3. Spanda Cards for the Entrepreneurial Spirit. 4. Handbook chapters, badges, resources, for Girls Scouts USA, such as Follow the Reader, Read to Lead, All in Good Faith. 5. Short passages not books, for ed publishers. Articles, blogs for Women's National Book Association since 2008.

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists
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Attachments (3)

Bearfulness, supplement 1 for caregivers.docx

The story portrays the home of Shrieky bear as he looks outside, plays inside, and delays the inevitable hibernating sleep. The final page or supplement can give adults easy breathing and relaxation tips, tools to use like Grandpa Wisely's with Shrieky Bear. Meant to be fun, not didactic, exercises engage children at their level, encouraging them to make connections and good choices about rest.

Bears hibernating picture.docx

I worked with an artist and art teachers to find pictures drawn by kids, and selected this one as it is a collage of hibernating bears. I see this story as a window into the real world (urban, snowy night) and a rhythmic, lyrical, experience for 2-3 year olds. Supplement at end for caregivers, older siblings, can add facts about hibernation, Bearfulness, sleep habits, and being your best self.

Bearfulness-HowShriekyBearLearnedtoSleep, 245wds .docx

This is a first "Bearfulness" book, a social-emotional, sensory, sound and language rich story about busy Shrieky bear who wants to play instead of hibernate. Based on principles (yoga, meditation, imagery, art) I've taught for 20 plus years, rhyming text and illustrations of a multigenerational home and city street, it invites young ones to "self-regulate" into calm sleep, with adult guidance; meditation script is written. 3D & more bears (pal Tweaky, Sister Squeaky) to be developed.

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Spam
Photo of Awot Terend Ding
Team

Hi Sheila,

That's honestly a wonderful story you wrote out there, it made me want to sleep! Perfect for a kid before bed time! Fingers crossed for your project !

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