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David Bedford Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

little illustrated bear hare

children: Isobel, Tom.

Addresses

Agent—c/o Author Mail, Magi Publications/Little Tiger Press, 1 The Coda Centre, 189 Munster Rd., London SW6 6AW, England.

Career

Writer, beginning 1997. Formerly worked as a scientist.

Honors Awards

Portsmouth (England) Book Award shortlist, 2004, for The Copy Crocs.

Writings

It's My Turn, illustrated by Elaine Field, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 2000, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2001.

Big Bears Can!, illustrated by Gaby Hansen, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2001.

Big Bear, Little Bear, illustrated by Jane Chapman, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 2001, published as Touch the Sky, My Little Bear, Handprint Books (Brooklyn, NY), 2001.

Shaggy Dog and the Terrible Itch, Barron's Educational Series (Hauppauge, NY), 2001.

The Long Journey Home, illustrated by Penny Ives, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 2001.

(With wife, Deborah Jackson) Hairy Monkey: A Touch-and-Feel Storybook, illustrated by Joanne Stone, Tango Books (London, England), 2002.

Tiger Eats Pizza: A Touch-and-Feel Storybook, illustrated by Jan Lewis, Tango Books (London, England), 2002.

Ella's Games, illustrated by Peter Kavanagh, Barron's Educational Series (Hauppauge, NY), 2002.

Big Bear mimicks the child-sized—and far more lightweight—antics of Little Bear, with unfortunate results. (From Big Bears Can!, illustration by Gaby Hansen.)

What Are You Doing in My Bed?, illustrated by Daniel Howarth, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 2003.

Mo's Smelly Jumper, illustrated by Edward Eaves, Little Tiger Press (London, England), 2003, published as Mo's Stinky Sweater, Hyperion (New York, NY), 2004.

Let's Play Colours, illustrated by Leonie Worthington, Little Hare (Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia), 2003.

The Copy Crocs, illustrated by Emily Bolam, Peachtree (Atlanta, GA), 2004.

Big, illustrated by Leonie Worthington, Little Hare (Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia), 2004.

Big & Small, illustrated by Leonie Worthington, Little Hare (Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia), 2004.

Bums, illustrated by Leonie Worthington, Little Hare (Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia), 2004.

Tums, illustrated by Leonie Worthington, Little Hare (Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia), 2004.

In-o-saur, Out-o-saur, illustrated by Leonie Worthington, Little Hare (Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia), 2005.

One-o-saur, Two-o-saur, illustrated by Leonie Worthington, Little Hare (Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia), 2005.

The Way I Love You, illustrated by Ann James, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2005.

"THE TEAM" SERIES

The Football Machine, illustrated by Keith Brumpton, Little Hare (Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia), 2003.

Top of the League, illustrated by Keith Brumpton, Little Hare (Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia), 2003.

Soccer Camp, illustrated by Keith Brumpton, Little Hare (Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia), 2004.

Superteam, illustrated by Keith Brumpton, Little Hare (Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia), 2004.

Sidelights

A former scientist who started a new career as a writer in 1997, David Bedford is best known for his highly regarded picture books for children, including Ella's Games, The Way I Love You, and Touch the Sky, My Little Bear. Reflecting an interest in soccer—Bedford, being British, calls it "football"—Bedford is also the author of The Football Machine, Top of the League, and other works from his popular series about a youth soccer team.

In Touch the Sky, My Little Bear, Bedford focuses on a mother polar bear and her baby exploring the world together. The pair work on their den, swim in icy water, and play in the snow. According to Booklist contributor Linda M. Kenton, Bedford's "text has a gentle tone, yet it is simultaneously enthusiastic about the prospect of adventuring in the grown-up world." A babysitting job goes awry in another bear-related title, Big Bears Can! While his mother runs an errand, Big Bear is left to watch over his younger brother. Little Bear, however, Crocodile's knack for finding fun things to do wins him an unwelcome, yet humorous, following. (From The Copy Crocs, illustration by Emily Bolan.) takes control of the situation by challenging his sibling to a series of dares that turn the house into a disaster area. Youngsters will appreciate the "no-you-can't/yes-I-can repetitive dialogue," observed John Sigwald in School Library Journal.

Ella's Games also concerns sibling rivalry. Ella, a tiny mouse, would like nothing better than to be included in her older brother's activities. The boys, though, have several objections, noting that Ella is too small and too timid for their liking. The imaginative Ella concocts a number of fantastic scenarios to prove her worth, including her successful attempt to rescue an elephant that was stuck in the mud, and she wins her brothers' approval. "The book ends on a rousing note, with Ella firmly in charge of a pretend pirate adventure aboard a pot of honeysuckle," wrote a critic in Publishers Weekly.

A reptile who seeks a little privacy is the subject of The Copy Crocs. When Crocodile tires of the overcrowded conditions at his home, he searches for a place to call his own. Wherever he lands, though, be it a muddy puddle or a floating log, his friends are sure to follow. Crocodile decides to return to his pool, which is now empty, but he soon misses his friends and learns to appreciate their camaraderie once they rejoin him. "The rhythmic pacing and effective use of dialogue make this an ideal book for reading aloud," noted Shawn Brommer in School Library Journal.

The Way I Love You focuses on the strong, loving bond between a young girl and her dog. In the work, a preschooler lists the many ways she cherishes her frisky, spirited pup, praising her pet's ability to run, jump, wag its tail, snuggle, and even smile. Describing The Way I Love You as a "gentle poem," a critic in Publishers Weekly faulted the sentimentality of Bedford's text, but also noted that "it never intrudes on … the feeling that, for this pair, the world is their oyster." Booklist critic Jennifer Mattson observed that the "cozy, satisfying refrain 'And that's the way I love you'" will appeal to youngsters.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 2001, Amy Brandt, review of Touch the Sky, My Little Bear, p. 1563; December 15, 2004, Jennifer Mattson, review of The Way I Love You, p. 746.

Publishers Weekly, August 19, 2002, review of Ella's Games, p. 88; July 26, 2004, review of Mo's Stinky Sweater, p. 53; December 6, 2004, review of The Way I Love You, p. 59.

School Library Journal, May, 2001, Linda M. Kenton, review of Touch the Sky, My Little Bear, p. 109; August, 2001, John Sigwald, review of Big Bears Can!, p. 142; January, 2002, Linda Ludke, review of Shaggy Dog and the Terrible Itch, p. 95; December, 2002, Meghan R. Malone, review of Ella's Games, p. 84; March, 2004, review of The Copy Crocs, Shawn Brommer, p. 152; October, 2004, Be Astengo, review of Mo's Stinky Sweater, p. 109.

ONLINE

David Bedford Home Page, http://www.mysite.wanadoomembers.co.uk/David_Bedford/ (April 16, 2005).

Sybille Bedford Biography [next] [back] Michael Bedard (1949-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

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