Looking for Bear by Holly Webb

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Looking for Bear by Holly Webb

Buy Looking for Bear by Holly Webb at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: A sweet tale about two siblings on the hunt for the bear at the bottom of the garden.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 160 Date: September 2013
Publisher: Scholastic
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781407131788

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Young siblings Ben and Cassie have just moved into a new house with their dad. Their new world is exciting to explore, but they wish that dad wasn’t so busy all of the time. They have lots of things that they want to tell him, like how Ben is being excluded by his friends at school, how they discovered that the new builders are actually pirates, how Ben designed his own football comic strip and best of all, how they both discovered a bear living at the bottom of the garden...

Looking for Bear manages to take the ordinary, everyday minutiae of life, add a spark of imagination and create something very special indeed. The story primarily focuses on the warm relationship between the two siblings, who seem to have been cast adrift in a strange new world. They soon strike up a friendship with two builders who are working on the house. The builders are kind and like to entertain the children with stories. One day, when they are digging a hole for a soakway, the builders tell the curious children that they are actually building a bear trap to catch one of the bears that lives at the bottom of the garden. The best way to catch a bear, as everyone knows, is to put out sausage rolls and wait, which is exactly what the children do.

The book discusses the issues surrounding bullying in a sensitive and intelligent way. Ben is ultimately able to resolve the problem by being true to himself, rather than trying to conform to what his peers expect him to be. It doesn’t stop the bully from trying to intimidate him, but he finds ways of dealing with the situation by creating his own coping mechanism. Slowly, one by one, other children start to join him and lunchtimes aren’t as scary anymore. I found this scenario a lot more realistic than the idea of the bully suddenly becoming nice, coming to a sticky end, or Ben magically acquiring football skills to wow his peers.

The story is gentle, with a nice, slow pace; an ideal bedtime read that will appeal to children between the ages of 7 and 12. The characters were well drawn and likeable and the relationships believable and easy to relate to. Looking for Bear is a heartwarming tale with a soft centre, another triumph for Webb.

Young readers may also enjoy The Invisible Bunny

Buy Looking for Bear by Holly Webb at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Looking for Bear by Holly Webb at Amazon.co.uk

Buy Looking for Bear by Holly Webb at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Looking for Bear by Holly Webb at Amazon.com.


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