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Five Bears

Written by Catherine Rayner

Illustrated by Catherine Rayner

Key Stage 1 Stories about Animals Family / Home Stories

LoveReading View on Five Bears

Gorgeous bears with a gentle empathetic message about difference and friendship

A new book from Greenaway winner Catherine Rayner is always going to be a visual treat and the luminous watercolour and inked images are a delight. As one bear meets another the initial reaction is defensive and even hostile, but Other Bear defuses the situation with calm friendliness and they go on together; each thinking their own thoughts but now moving in the same direction.

Grunty Bear is a bit embarrassed by his first negative reaction to them and follows along. Very Big Bear is even more direct: “Go Away” he says and when asked why, says “ Because I don’t know you” Again he is disarmed by calm friendliness and again he follows along and we are told the four of them are beginning to think alike: that it is pleasant to be with other bears. Then they find Stuck Bear up a tree who insists he is fine: “But a Stuck Bear clearly needs help” and they all cooperate to help. So, in a gentle and non-dogmatic fashion, important points are made. There can be a tendency in humans to be wary of difference, but this is a lovely way to demonstrate empathy and will generate lots of discussion and could perhaps help to make a difference to our future generations' attitude toward helping 'stuck bears' all over the world.

Joy Court

Five Bears Synopsis

A gorgeously illustrated book about friendship and looking past differences from the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal winner Catherine Rayner.

Bear is walking through the forest, minding his own business when he comes across another bear. The Other bear is different. The two bears wander along, thinking different thoughts, and looking in different directions. Soon the two bears come across another bear and then another bear and eventually find a bear stuck in a tree.

The bears realise that perhaps they aren't that different after all and perhaps they could be friends?

Book Information

ISBN: 9781529051278
Publication date: 23rd June 2022
Author: Catherine Rayner
Illustrator: Catherine Rayner
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 32 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 1
Topics: Animals, Family / Home Stories

About Catherine Rayner

Catherine Rayner was born in Harrogate and now lives in Edinburgh. She has a BA Hons in Visual Communication and Illustration from Leeds College of Art and Edinburgh College of Art. Much of her inspiration – and occasionally modelling! – for her illustration comes from her pets: her horse Shannon, guinea pig Marvin, dog Ellie, cat Emma and two goldfish, Bruce and Sheila. Catherine was shortlisted for the Booktrust Early Years Award Best New Illustrator in 2006, and she won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal in 2009.   Julia Eccleshare, the editorial expert on Lovereading4kids says, Prize winning illustrator Catherine Rayner ...

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