Tag Archives: Bears

Bear Out There – Jacob Grant




July 2019

ISBN: 9781526607416
Imprint: Bloomsbury Children’s Books


RRP: $14.99

We all need a friend who will help us out at times and when that friend goes way beyond their ‘comfort zone’ it’s even more special.

Bear and Spider are great friends but they are very different. Spider loves being outdoors with the breeze, the smells, the plants not to mention the bugs 😊. Bear, on the other hand, is more of a homebody who enjoys pottering around the house tidying and sitting comfortably with a cup of tea.

Bear has absolutely no desire to go out with Spider to fly his kite. He has his own plans for the day, none of which involve the great outdoors.  When Spider’s kite is caught up in the gusty wind and blows away of course Bear will help look for it but he grumbles all the way. The forest is full of horrible stuff like itchy plants, pesky weeds and cold rain and even Spider is starting to have enough of nature when at last as the rain clears and the pair look up to the sky there it is! At last the kite is found! Back home the two friends settle back in the comfy armchair with their tea and both fly kites from its warm cosiness.

True friends help each other even when they are opposites. This is a terrific story to explore that idea with little humans.

Highly recommended for readers from around 3 years upwards.

A Beginner’s Guide to Bear Spotting – Michelle Robinson/David Roberts



Published: March 2016

ISBN: 9781681190266

Imprint: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

RRP $22.99

We all know that kids love offbeat humour and this is certainly a book that will tick that box. Bear spotting is a tricky business so if you’re going searching you need to be prepared with all the information required.


For example did you know:

Black bears are dangerous and black, brown bears are dangerous and brown?

With hints for what to do should you run into a dangerous bear – remember to have some gum with you! – this will have your readers giggling aloud.

The illustrations which accompany the humorous text are equally laugh-out-loud making with the small child character kitted out with all his bear-spotting accouterments.

This is not a deep and meaningful picture book. It is just pure good fun and great humour.

I foresee this will be a huge hit as a read aloud with the small humans from around 5 and up and I can’t wait to share it soon in a story session.

Not a book – a movie



Many of you will have read articles particularly fairly recently about the real life bear who inspired A. A. Milne’s classic stories about Winnie-the-Pooh. A recently published picture book sparked some of these.

I was so delighted to pick up the DVD of the movie ‘A Bear Named Winnie’ at the local  Km*** last Friday for the princely sum of $4.

There is so much to like about this lovely film – with character roles played by Stephen Fry, David Suchet and Michael Fassbender – which tells the story of how a young Canadian, Lt Harry Colebourn, of the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps, rescues a black bear cub. The endearing animal immediately bonds with him and despite the sometimes chaos that can be caused by such a creature in an army camp, manages to smuggle Winnie (Winnipeg) to England when he is mobilized to the front.

This is a World War 1 story with a real difference enabling viewers to glimpse the work of the veterinary corps, our Canadian compadres and the amazing friendship between human and animal.

Harry realises he cannot take Winnie to the front in France so she is placed in the London Zoo for the duration of the war under the care of a very crusty (but actually marshmallow) head keeper played by Stephen Fry.

When Harry returns from active service traumatised and withdrawn it is Winnie who rescues him in turn. After his recovery he has every intention of taking Winnie back to Canada but when he realises just how loved she is by children and adults alike who visit the zoo, he leaves her in their care where she lived happily until 1934.

In 1926 when A. A. Milne and his small son visited the zoo and became entranced by Winnie’s charm and her gentle playful nature was afterwards immortalised for endless generations of readers.

With a rating of PG this would be a worthy addition to your literary (and historical) film collection – get to that store now!

Stormy Night – Salina Yoon



Allen & Unwin Australia


February 2015-01-25

RRP $15.99

There is a little person here who has had a great deal of anxiety about storms, since a very severe one a couple of months particularly.  This fear has been diminishing with some careful support but this wonderful book could not have been timelier or better received during the shared reading tonight.

Bear is ready for bed but the storm is breaking – the rain is pounding on the windows, the wind is howling, the trees are making cracking sounds and Bear tells his toy bunny Floppy “Don’t worry [..] I’ll hold you tight. I’ll keep you warm. My love will keep you safe from the storm.”

As soon as I read that line, Miss Small looked at me with a loving smile – because she is realising the enormity of that statement.

But Bear and Floppy aren’t quite convinced and soon Mama and Papa come into to seek solace with Bear *wink*…….looking to keep each other safe and warm through the storm. And they do!

Beautiful simple text accompanied by boldly coloured illustrations. I can see this will be a much read book over the next few months.

A perfect picture book to allay those fears about noisy thunderstorms – and here in Queensland, it is of course, storm season so a great book to add into the first term’s reading for Preps and Year 1s.

Salina Yoon “Finding comfort with family…..calming the storm” has written and illustrated over 100 books for children, including award winners and having shared this book, it is easy to see why!

Highly recommended for little ones from around 3 and up to probably around 7/8 particularly.


Where Bear? – Sophy Henn




Format:Hardback, 32 pages


price:AUD $24.99



Publisher:Penguin UK


Origin:United Kingdom

This delightful picture book from a new talent in the industry was a great hit when Small and I read it together on Saturday night. A little boy and a little bear lived together and all was wonderful until they both started to grow and as one might expect the bear was suddenly MUCH bigger than the boy. So much bigger in fact that living in a house no longer seemed the best option for him.

So they begin their quest to find Bear a suitable and happy home. Young readers will love the delightful refrain as the pair explore each possibility – the zoo, the jungle, the pet shop and more – in turn and each is rejected because Bear finds them unsuitable. But ‘Where Bear?’ asks the boy…until finally they find the very perfect place for a very large Bear to settle down and raise a family of his own.

Like so many enduring friendships, just because the boy and the bear now live in separate places does not mean they no longer enjoy their same close relationship. Chatty phone calls and even shared ‘holiday’ expeditions ensure their closeness remains.

This is a gorgeous book with simple resonant themes – the skilful illustrations are typical of Sophy’s artistic style after exploring her website.  Children will enjoy the tenderness between the two and the opportunity to share their own stories of friendships – including those where friends may have moved away.

Sophy has also been appointed the official illustrator for World Book Day 2015.

Sophy has a new picture book being released next year and I look forward to seeing that one – as I’m sure does Small.