The Bear With Sticky Paws by Clara Vulliamy

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The Bear With Sticky Paws by Clara Vulliamy

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: A little girl called Pearl is being very grumpy and unco-operative with her mummy. That is until the Bear with Sticky Paws comes to visit and she gets a taste of her own medicine. Suddenly Pearl can't do enough for her mummy...
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: September 2008
Publisher: Orchard
ISBN: 978-1846163067

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Before you even start to read The Bear with Sticky Paws, it's worth spending just a few moments to take in and enjoy the wonderful illustration on the front cover. There's a big white bear wearing blue sunglasses, a pink feather boa and long colourful beads, along with a cheeky little girl wearing a tiara. Their hands are full of delicate china and gooey cake and ice cream. They look fabulous and the reader can eagerly anticipate the mayhem that is likely to ensue in this wonderfully funny book.

When we start reading we meet Pearl who is definitely having a bad day. She will not do anything her mummy asks and her favourite word is NO! Just as Mum has had enough there's a ring on the doorbell and it's the Bear with Sticky Paws. As soon as Pearl lets him into the house he starts to run riot in every room and all he ever seems to want to do is eat. Although at first Pearl thinks he is fun, she soon gets fed up of his behaviour especially when he starts to say NO! Eventually the bear decides to go home leaving Pearl to clean up his mess and sticky paw prints. When Mum comes back, Pearl is truly sorry and promises to be very helpful which results in what she wanted all along – a huge hug and a big kiss from Mummy.

This book works really well for a number of reasons. Firstly the characters are great. Pearl is a typical small child who is full of fun and mischief. Like most children she has good days and bad days – something which most young children will identify with. On the other hand, the Bear with Sticky Paws is ever so naughty but also so much fun. My three year old daughter absolutely loved him and couldn't help giggling at all his antics.

The story deals with a very common occurrence in most homes – a standoff between a mother and her child. Through Pearl's initial behaviour and the appearance of the bear, it helps children to realise how some things are not acceptable. My daughter was astonished at how naughty the bear was and we were able to have a chat about the things he should have done in order to be good. This book enables a child to observe this type of confrontation without being involved.

The language used in the story is very accessible for young children. The story is told in a straightforward way and is reinforced by the excellent illustrations. The author does lots of clever things with the text such as using bold capitals and exclamation marks for emphasis and using different sizes of font. One favourite page includes lots of lovely description:

'Let's PLAY!' says the bear.
He's snuffling and sniffling...
..hiding and sliding...
leaping and climbing!

As well as some good examples of rhyme and alliteration we are also provided with some very humourous drawings showing the bear sliding down the banisters, climbing up onto the piano and knocking over vases. Another page simply has the word NO! repeated lots of times which makes the point very clearly. My daughter loves joining in with this chorus of NO!s, tending to get louder and more adamant with each one.

The fact that the bear has such an enormous appetite enables the author to bring a counting element into the story. Throughout the day he eats breakfast, lunch and tea and devours many, many different things including eight pieces of jammy toast, seven pieces of pizza and too many ice creams to count, always leaving sticky paw prints everywhere. Every meal time takes up a page where all these items and more are shown and young children will love counting up all the different things he eats. Even having read this book a few times now, my daughter is just as keen to count as she was the first time.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Overall there are so many good things about this book that it is sure to appeal to many young children. If they enjoy this, they might also want to take a look at What! by Kate Lum and Adrian Johnson. The sequels The Bear With Sticky Paws Goes To School and ...Won't Go To Bed are fun too.

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Buy The Bear With Sticky Paws by Clara Vulliamy at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Bear With Sticky Paws by Clara Vulliamy at


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