Monday, 2 January 2012

Book of the week; Susan’s bears by Mildred Lawrence

Although Susan isn't afraid of bears in the zoo, she is very much afraid of the imaginary bears that live upstairs at Aunt Marian's house.

Susan is a big girl now, but she is still afraid of bears.  Not that she has seen any, other than the ones in the zoo, and they are much too good-natured to make anyone afraid. But Susan is very much afraid of the bears she can’t see – the ones that live outside her bedroom door.  Aunt Marian is always telling Susan not to be silly but it really doesn’t help – Susan just knows the bears are there.

Cousin John agrees with Susan; “Bears? Certainly we have bears!”  “There is a whole family of bears, I remember them distinctly. Nice bears, too.”  “There are four I believe,” “Mr and Mrs Bear and the twins, whose names I forget.” They are the bears from the zoo “they stay at the zoo in the day and come here at night. They like the hall better than those chilly caves.” “So should I,” agrees Susan. But when it comes to bedtime Susan is still afraid of the bears. She runs through the hall and quickly turns on her bedroom light – and there, propped up against the mirror is a large white envelope addressed in rather wobbly writing...
"To Susan" 

We will not be behind the door tonight, as we are going to have our fur washed and curled.  From Mr and Mrs. Bear, and the twins.

The next night Susan is eager to go to bed and is excited to find another letter. This time the bears tell Susan they will be in rather late and will be sure not to wake her. Signed Mr. and Mrs. Bear, Buster and Beulah.

Susan can’t wait to go to bed every night and when she does there is always a letter waiting. But the last letter is the best one of all;

Dear Susan, We like you very much and wish we could belong to you. If you would like to have us, look behind the door. We will be waiting for you. The four B’s

Beautifully illustrated story about overcoming childhood fears.  The copy we have in stock is a first edition published in 1945, illustrated by Decie Merwin and published by Grosset and Dunlap (Story Parade Picture Book). Very scarce especially with the original dust jacket.  

When I was a very small child we lived in a cottage with no electricity. There were gas mantles in the downstairs rooms and bedrooms but nothing on the stairs. We used torch or candle light on the stairs and I can still remember the feeling of absolute dread as bedtime approached. Were you afraid of the dark, or bears or anything else?

Susan's Bears is now sold, thank you for your interest.


  1. omg! This is an enchantingly beautiful story. I love it. This is indeed a precious find.

  2. What a beautiful book and a wonderful story. I love the letters from the bears- what a clever idea! I wasn't afraid of the dark- but when I was little I would hear noises at my grandparent's house and my grandpa would ease my mind by telling my about a funny girl who lived up there and wore bizarre high heeled sneaker to make all that noise! His stories inspired me when I wrote my book!


  3. The Desert Rocks3 January 2012 at 00:50

    We had a stuffed tiger in our bedroom when we were little and my brother couldn't sleep if he saw it, so my parents would hide it before bedtime. Wimp!

  4. barbaraannefisher3 January 2012 at 12:38

    Very precious and very pretty, I thought you would like it.

  5. barbaraannefisher3 January 2012 at 12:40

    What a lovely grandpa and how wonderful that he is the inspiration behind your book.

  6. barbaraannefisher3 January 2012 at 15:16

    I bet your poor brother is still suffering from nightmares! There is no way I could sleep with a stuffed anything in the bedroom. OK I admit it, I’m a wimp too. :-)

  7. This is a wonderful way of getting over your fears: have the creatures write letters to you! I was an easily-scared child, too. (Not that I'm proud of this ...) I feared getting up at night to go to the bathroom so my sisters and I had this spittoon in our bedroom we'd use for peeing in the dark. And even then, I would wake a sister up for company till I was done.

  8. I’m a writer, book lover, and your newest blog follower! My blog is Life of Lois Feel free to stop on by.


  9. barbaraannefisher4 January 2012 at 15:26

    Hi Lois, thanks for your visit. Maybe try the follow again as you don't appear on the GFC list. I've just visited your blog and followed - love your new book cover.

  10. barbaraannefisher4 January 2012 at 15:45

    Hi Claudine, your comment really made me laugh and reminded me of when my sister and I used to share a very pretty china pot. I don’t think I woke her up before using it but I may have done while using it! Hasn’t life changed – my grandma Daisy had a china wash bowl and jug in each bedroom as well as a ‘potty’ for each guest.


I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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