Baby Bear



Loving friends, sweet cub make this a timeless classic.

What parents need to know

Educational value
Young readers will get a close look at animals living in a woodland habitat.
Positive messages

Though you may feel lost and alone, your community can help you -- but you'll have to make the journey yourself.

Positive role models
The woodland animals are loving and thoughtful. Some approach Baby Bear out of concern, and others respond kindly to his request for help. They help him find his own way, sharing advice that can serve him for a lifetime. 
Violence & scariness
Baby Bear is frightened of being on his own in the dark, but the overall ambiance is comforting and cozy. 
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Baby Bear is likely to become a favorite bedtime book, with a reassuring message and beautiful, soothing illustrations. There's no indication where Baby Bear's mother or father might be, but each animal he encounters shows parental concern for the lost cub. 

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What's the story?

It's late and dark, and Baby Bear's lost. He encounters a series of wild animals who offer help and comfort as he tries to find his way home. They give good advice: Retrace your steps, trust yourself, listen to your heart, keep walking, sing a song, look up, keep going -- even hug a tree!

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Is it any good?

From acclaimed artist Kadir Nelson, BABY BEAR is simply beautiful, in its message and its artwork. It covers familiar picture-book ground: coping with being lonely and afraid. This young cub, however, doesn't find comfort in the snuggle of a parent -- in fact, his parents are nowhere to be seen. Instead, he gets through the night with loving encouragement from the other woodland creatures. 
Nelson's warm illustrations seem to glow in the moonlight. Perspectives shift from one page to the next: On one spread you're peering down at Baby Bear crying at the base of a boulder, and on the next you have an awe-inspiring view of a ram perched above. Tiny details will hold young ones' interest, such as an insect's legs and wings peeking out of a frog's mouth or clues to which animal might appear next. This is a bedtime book to savor.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the other animals help Baby Bear. What advice would you have given him?
  • What helps you feel better when you feel alone and scared? Do you think it might be good to remember Baby Bear's story at times like that?
  • If you were ever lost or frightened, whom would you ask for help?

Book details

Author:Kadir Nelson
Illustrator:Kadir Nelson
Genre:Picture Book
Topics:Friendship, Wild animals
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:January 7, 2014
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:3 - 8
Read alone:6 - 8
Available on:Hardback

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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