26 November 2012


One of my favourite authors of children's books is Jane Hissey, she illustrates her own books and they are beautiful pictures.  I discovered these books when I bought one for a friends child when he was young (he's fifteen now).  When I looked for copies for my own children I struggled to find them most of the copies we own were bought second hand, it's a shame as I think they are beautifully written and illustrated.

We have amassed a good collection now and I never tire of reading them.  All her books are based on bears and other soft toys that she and her children own.

The original story is Old Bear based on the authors own childhood bear.  He has been put in the loft for safe keeping and the other soft toys in the playroom are trying rescue him.  They try building a tower with bricks, making themselves into a tower, bouncing on the bed and climbing a plant.  They eventually rescue him by flying a plane up to the loft hatch and floating down with handkerchief parachutes.

Little Bear's Trousers tells the story of little bear who cannot find his trousers one morning, the story is based on the first bear given to the authors eldest child.  Little Bear goes off to hunt for his trousers, each time he asks one of the toys in the playroom he finds that have had the trousers but have passed them onto to someone else.  The uses of the trousers each time are wonderful, as hump warmers for a camel, a sail for a boar, a bone holder for a dog and a hat for a rabbit.  He finally catches up with them when they are being used as a double icing bag to ice a cake.  The trousers are rescued and washed and they all enjoy a piece of the cake.

Little Bear Lost involves a game of hide and seek where the toys cannot find little bear.  They stop, as they are hungry, to eat a picnic they made early and find little bear in the hamper!

Jolly Tall starts with a large parcel in the playroom which the toys discover contains a giraffe.  They have to get him out of the box so that he can join them all to play but it is not as easy as they thought it would be as Jolly, the giraffe, does not like heights!

In Jolly Snow the toys are waiting for it to snow. Whilst waiting they find ways of making their own snow inside, they are so busy they do not notice that it has actually snowed outside.

Ruff tells the story of a dog who joins the toys in the playroom.  When the toys ask how old he is they discover that he does not know and has never celebrated his birthday.  The toys then celebrate each day for a week to make up for his lost birthdays.

There are many other books by this author but I have yet to find copies of them, so have yet to read them.  I was amazed to discover whilst writing this post that some of the stories were made into a television series, Old Bear Stories, which ran to 41 episodes!

Most of the copies we own own are small hardback books which are lovely for children to sit and read.  I think these are a must for a children's bookshelf and I will be keeping these after my children have grown out of them for future small visitors to my house to continue to enjoy.

Joining in with The Children's Bookshelf for this weeks sharing of children's books.


  1. Thank you for introducing me to a new author - I had never heard of Jane Hissey before. The illustrations look so sweet! Have a lovely week!


  2. I've never heard of this author. Her illustrations look very cozy. Thanks for linking up to The Children's Bookshelf.

  3. My own kids adored these, and we have them all stowed away in a box now for the day when there are grandchildren. If you can come by the television series of the books, narrated I think by Anton Rogers, they are absolute gems.

  4. These are lovely books, I didn't realise there were so many of them!

  5. I've never read any of these books, but they look wonderful. It is always sad to see beautiful books go out of print. Thanks for linking up to The Children's Bookshelf!


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