Advent Reading Challenge: A Tiny Bear

8th December

Tiny Bear’s Christmas by Ebi N (Eberhard Naumann) Ragged Bears Ltd, 1991
Published originally as Pules Weihnachtsfest

This charming book found its way into our Christmas collection some years ago via a second-hand shop. It has obviously had some enthusiastic handling as the marks on the cover of our copy testify. We have read it over and over again and I am sure its previous owners did too.

This is the text of the frontispiece:

Tiny Bear's Christmas

Tiny Bear and his Christmas tree

‘Poor Tiny Bear is left behind when the family leaves for the holiday. But Christmas is the time for miracles, and a small one can bring joy into the life of a tiny bear.

This whimsical story of naive charm and innocence brings the spirit of the season to readers young and old.’

The book is something of a curiosity as I have only ever come across this copy while browsing bookshops. It seems to be out of print now and when I did a book search before writing this piece only found a single copy available from Amazon. Either it was a very short print run or people tend to hang onto their copies.

If anything should be a candidate for a re-print then this seasonal tale of a teddy bear left all alone by his owners at Christmas must be a front-runner. After the family heads off for the Christmas holidays, Tiny Bear feels very sad and lonely. He tries all sorts of things to cheer himself up:

‘But no matter what he did, he was all alone on Christmas. Tiny Bear cried a little. Then he mopped a little. And then he lay down on his bed to think’.

Not to spoil the story for anyone unfamiliar with the book, I will merely mention that Tiny Bear finds some unusual friends and all ends happily in a very sociable Christmas celebration.

According to a note at the back of the book, the story was originally written by Eberhard Naumann (and I presume also illustrated by him) as a story for his young son. The tale was later discovered and published as a surprise for the author, whose birthday just happens to be on Christmas Day.

If you ever manage to spot a copy of Tiny Bear’s Christmas anywhere, snap it up quickly!