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  • Writer's pictureShameer Bismilla

Bear is a Bear

I am an ardent fan of Jonathan Stutzman and Dan Santat’s work. Every word and illustration always make my little readers chiming in with joy. This cry-worthy book will subtly tug at your heart, especially for those who formed a special relationship with their “stuffies”. The simple and repeating text has profoundly defined teddy bears as a form of comfort, companion and compassion in the lives of children. Even though they grow up, the teddy bear can still fulfil a meaningful role in their lives.

‘Bear is a Bear’ is the story of a little girl's life as she grows up, but her teddy bear is always there for her ups and downs. This book reminded me of other books that talk about the evolution of friendship and unconditional love like ‘The Giving Tree’ and ‘Love You Forever’ and many more. It was such a gut punching moment when the bear climbs into the chest and is put away in the attic when the girl grows up (Kleenex moment). Thank God that’s not the end of the story, Bear is brought back to be a new friend for the girl's child and the cycle begins. Totally nostalgic…

This book is a celebration to all (children and adults) who have a special affinity with their stuffed toys. Adults, if you have a great connection with your teddy bears and need to have a cathartic experience, read this book. I can imagine children offering a tissue to the adults at the end of the story. A sweet ode to all our childhood companions!

P.S. Love the photographs of Jonathan Stutzman and Dan Santat’s own teddy bears on the dust jacket.


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