The Good Bear

The Good Bear

By Author / Illustrator

Sarah Lean, Fiona Woodcock


Friends and family

Age range(s)



Simon & Schuster Ltd








A wintry animal story for readers aged 9+ that will warm your heart and take you on an adventure you will never forget. From the bestselling author of A DOG CALLED HOMELESS. This is the perfect Christmas gift for fans of Michael Morpurgo, Lauren St John and Sara Pennypacker's PAX.

It's the Christmas holidays and Thea is looking forward to spending them with her father. She can tell him all about her plans to become a writer, and maybe he'll buy her the typewriter she's been dreaming of.

But when Thea arrives in Norway, everything feels . . . wrong. Her father is as distant as ever and now she has to share him with his new family: his girlfriend Inge and her children.Then Thea makes a surprising discovery. Deep in the snowy woods by the house, is a bear. He's scared and hungry and he desperately needs Thea's help.

When the town hears about a bear living in the woods, Bear's life is in even greater danger. Thea needs to show everyone that he's not dangerous - he's a good bear - if she's to save him.

Beautifully illustrated by award-winning illustrator Fiona Woodcock, the artist behind Abi Elphinstone's The Snow Dragon.

'Author Sarah Lean and illustrator Fiona Woodcock build a beautiful, wintery world for this story about family and friendship' The Scotsman



Thea lives in London in 1978 with her mother and is filled with the anticipation of her Christmas reunion with her estranged father in Norway, where he lives. Desperate for a typewriter to fulfil her dreams of becoming an author, Thea writes to her father asking him to buy one for her. When she arrives to spend Christmas with Henry and his new family, nothing feels right and she is frustrated at having to share him with his girlfriend and children. Norway is cold and unfamiliar to her.

Out exploring, Thea discovers a bear hiding in the snowy woods behind Henry's house. The bear is hungry and scared. But Thea soon realises that he does not pose a danger to her. Instead they form a close bond. One of survival and friendship.

Sarah Lean tells this story beautifully. It is one for reading aloud and marvelling at the scenery and the beauty around Thea and the bear. Well rounded characters and a gripping plot mean this is a book that will be treasured for years to come. A firm wintry favourite.

Fiona Woodcock's illustrations add to the dream-like feeling of the story. Thea sitting on a stepladder, typing and surrounded by stars is especially special. A great book to share with the whole family. Wintry with a hint of Christmas and a testament to the bond between humans and animals. Grab fluffy blankets and hot chocolate for some pure joy!

320 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Bryony Davies, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 7+


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