My Friend Bear

Book review by
Jennifer Gennari, Common Sense Media
My Friend Bear Book Poster Image
A great book about making friends.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that a familiar hero and his teddy bear will draw children into this tale about making new friends.

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What's the story?

Eddie, out walking with his teddy bear, wishes it could talk, because he feels lonely. Then he spots a real bear's giant teddy bear. Eddie hides, knowing the bear will appear. When the bear--who is also lonely--appears, crying, Eddie, who is hidden, tells him not to cry. Overjoyed, the bear thinks his teddy is talking.

When the bear realizes it's Eddie, he is angry, but Eddie starts to giggle, and soon they make a game of talking teddy bears. The boy and the bear become friends, and they play silly games until it's time to go home.

Is it any good?

This is a nice (though not too exciting) story told in perfect verse. Eddie is back with his teddy bear, who becomes able to talk. This time Eddie is only a little scared of the giant bear, and, after the bear starts to cry, he gets up his courage to talk to him. The resulting confusion over who is talking -- Eddie or the giant teddy -- gives the two characters a chance to laugh and become friends.

Jez Alborough has made the bear and the woods less scary in this story. And Eddie is more filled out too. The overall look is more polished, but it lacks the energy and edge of the first book -- and children expect the characters to remain consistent. Nevertheless, this is a great book about making friends, and about the joy of laughter.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how people become friends. If you've read the previous book, why didn't Eddie and Bear become friends the first time they met? What do they have in common here?

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