Mawson Bear in Dreamy Days and Random Naps

The joys of indie children’s books

My wife and I enjoyed reading to our children when they were little, and it’s something we do for our granddaughter. We started them off with picture books and Dr. Seuss. Our daughter went on to Junie B. Jones by the late, great Barbara Park, and then turned to the Harry Potter series. My son gravitated to Dav Pikley and Captain Underpants. Our daughter adores novels (and even liked mine), while our son enjoys graphic novels and decries how The Walking Dead television series deviates from the books.

Reading a vital skill. Children are enriched by learning how to convert words into pictures in their minds. They can develop their imaginations, explore different worlds and time periods, learn to see things from others’ point of view, and develop empathy. Reading to your children is one of the most valuable things a parent can do.

The choices for children’s books aren’t limited to what you find from famous authors at big box stores. There is a growing selection of children’s books from indie authors and small presses.

We will be discussing two of them in the WriteOrWrong Virtual Book Club during February 2021. The first is Build with Bricks by Ray Allen Price, which is a “pigquel” to the “Three Little Pigs.” The other is The Merdragon by Frankie Williams about two girls who discover they have more in common than they realize.

The children’s book I’m featuring today is Dreamy Days and Random Naps by Mark O’Dwyer (writing as Mawson Bear).

This cozy book is about a white teddy bear named Mawson. He shares his thoughts about naps and dreams with his teddy bear friends, Samantha, Scotland the Brave, and Professors Caddy and Brie. The illustrations are charming photographs of the bears with various props, similar to how the book’s young readers would play with their own plush friends. The writing has whimsical turns reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh, with cheery sweet humor and surprisingly deep thoughts. It’s a book parents will want to read to their small children, especially before nap or bedtime, and it’s a good first book to get them started reading on their own.

When you’re shopping for children’s books, consider books from indie authors and small presses. You will find fresh new stories your children will treasure.

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