Peace at Last - Story Snug

Peace at Last by Jill Murphy

Peace at Last was a favourite story in my classroom when I started teaching. The story of Jill Murphy’s three bears takes a humorous look at not being able to sleep, a theme that is familiar to children and adults.

The Story: Mr Bear, Mrs Bear and Baby Bear go to bed. Mrs Bear falls asleep but Mr Bear doesn’t. When Mrs Bear starts to snore Mr Bear tries to sleep in Baby Bear’s room but Baby Bear is pretending to be an aeroplane. There is more noise in the living room, the kitchen and the garden so Mr Bear ends up falling asleep in the car. When the dawn chorus starts Mr Bear goes back to bed only to be woken up shortly afterwards by his alarm clock!

Before I became a parent I didn’t appreciate the humour in Peace at Last, now I know how important sleep becomes when you have a young child! Unfortunately for Mr Bear there is a lot of environmental noise keeping him awake, there are noises which he probably doesn’t notice during the day like ticking clocks and the sound of household appliances. Many of the illustrations show him with a pained look on his face or lying with his head covered before he finally finds the peace he craves in his own bed. My daughter likes joining in with the catchphrase he uses when there’s too much noise, “I can’t stand THIS!”

The simple, repetitive text in Peace at Last makes it a great book for beginner readers. Each double page spread has the same layout, text on the left and a large illustration on the right. I love the smaller black and white line drawings above the text which show extras that aren’t mentioned in the story, for example Mr Bear having a late night snack in the kitchen. My favourite is the look on Mr Bear’s face when he looks at his snoring wife. My daughter is fascinated by Baby Bear and why he isn’t asleep when his mummy already is! She also likes Baby Bear’s choice of book – Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

I have used Peace at Last in the classroom as a stimulus for talking about children’s bedtime routines and what they involve. The garden illustration is also good to initiate discussions about nocturnal animals.

Peace at Last is a lovely bedtime story which will hopefully guarantee a good night’s sleep!

Age Range: 2 +

Author / Illustrator: Jill Murphy


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34 responses to “Peace at Last by Jill Murphy”

  1. Lisa (mummascribbles) avatar

    This is still one of my favourite books! My mum bought it for me some years ago after I’d discovered that she’d got rid of my childhood version! It’s now on Zach’s bookshelf and we love reading it 🙂 #weekendbloghop

    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s lovely when you can share a childhood favourite with your child. Sorry to hear your Mum got rid of your copy, Peace at Last is one of those classic stories that can be handed down and re-read 🙂

  2. Mummy's Blog avatar

    I remember this from my own childhood…always a favourite x
    Popping by from Blow Your Own Blog-Horn

    1. Catherine avatar

      Lots of people have fond childhood memories of the Bear family 🙂

  3. C.L. Murphy avatar

    Love the cover! Sounds like a fun book. Thanks for sharing. Stopping by from the Kid Lit Blog Hop.

    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a great cover isn’t it. I love Mr Bear’s expression!

  4. Ann Winters avatar

    What an incredibly real night time story…! I also suffer from insomnia, so I relate with Mr. Bear 🙂

    1. Catherine avatar

      I think we can all relate to Mr Bear at some time or another!

  5. Mummy's Little Monkey (@Jax2000) avatar

    This is one of my girls FAVS – I think I can almost recite it word for word!! I didn’t actually realise it was an ‘oldie but a goodie’ so now I like it even more. Thanks for joining in with Blow Your Own Blog-Horn xxx

    1. Catherine avatar

      The repetition does make it easy to remember. Peace at Last was first published in 1980, it’s over thirty years old!

  6. Stephs Two Girls avatar

    Awww, that took me back, both my girls loved this book when younger! #PoCoLo

    1. Catherine avatar

      It seems to be a book that many parents have fond memories of 🙂

  7. Pippa Ainsworth avatar

    We love Jill Murphy in our house, especially The Large Family. I find myself very much identifying with Mrs Bear now!

    1. Catherine avatar

      I know exactly what you mean Pippa!

  8. Izzie Anderton avatar

    My daughters loved Jill Murphy books when they were small and my eldest recently had the pleasure of interviewing Jill at a book festival. She was lovely by all accounts x

    1. Catherine avatar

      Wow! How awesome for your daughter to interview such a famous author 🙂

  9. One of each kind avatar

    I have so much love for this book. I had it as a small child and read it constantly, then when I had my children I bought a new copy and I read it to them as often as possible.
    Such a funny book x

    1. Catherine avatar

      Isn’t it lovely when we can share our childhood favourites with our children 🙂

  10. Naila Moon, Hostess KidLitBlogHop avatar

    This sounds like a cute book and one I can relate to. I have insomnia ever so often.
    ~Naila Moon from #KLBH

    1. Catherine avatar

      Insomnia is horrible. Luckily I’ve never had to resort to sleeping in the car like Mr Bear!

  11. Tim avatar

    This has long been a favourite in our household, from oldest to middle to youngest. It’s popular with mummy and daddy too!

    1. Catherine avatar

      Isn’t it great when you find a book that everybody enjoys, especially when you are asked to read it over and over again 🙂

  12. Natalie Ray avatar

    Oh, how lovely 🙂 I seem to vaguely remember this book from when my brother & sisters were children, but I haven’t read it with mine yet, I’ll have to get it next time we’re at the library.

    1. Catherine avatar

      I hope you enjoy reading it 🙂

  13. Aileen Stewart avatar

    Stopping by from the blog hop. This book sounds adorable, thanks for sharing!

    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s lovely, definitely one of our favourite picture books 🙂

  14. Marjorie (MWD) avatar

    I love that you didn’t get the humour till you became a parent!! I still remember that feeling of quiet relief at the end of this and other similar stories when a fraught bedtime had all calmed beautifully by the end of the story! I caught my husband fast asleep with a wide-eyed child next to him on more than one occasion… A gorgeous book…

    1. Catherine avatar

      It is a lovely book for calming children down at bedtime, funny that it sent your husband to sleep too!

  15. Megan - Truly Madly Kids avatar

    This is a classic!

    It is also good to use instruments with, and the kids make the sounds that won;t let Daddy sleep!

  16. Lucinda (Teacher2Mummy) avatar
    Lucinda (Teacher2Mummy)

    I’ve used Peace At Last in the classroom too, it’s a popular story with the younger ones. I’m quite a fan of Jill Murphy, especially the large family 🙂 #mmwbh

    1. Catherine avatar

      The Large family are favourites here too. I can identify much more with Mrs Large’s situation now I’m a parent, albeit with just one child!

  17. Cardiff Mummy Says avatar

    This is a favourite in our house. I picked up a copy in a charity shop for about 50p as I recognised Jill Murphy’s name from The Worst Witch books I loved growing up. Such a lovely book.

    1. Catherine avatar

      Jill Murphy has written some great books. We love the stories about the Large family too. I must read The Worst Witch, I’m sure that I read it as a child.