The Best Kind of Bear
The Best Kind of Bear

The Best Kind of Bear

Written by Greg Gormley & illustrated by David Barrow
Physical book
2 - 5
Reading age
Page count
Words per page
Lexile measure
Nov 12, 2019
Publication date

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What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

This beautiful story about one stuffed bear’s journey to discover his identity is a triumph of illustration and storytelling

Bear is on a quest to discover exactly what kind of bear he is. Beginning at the library, a truly excellent place for learning, he sets out on a great adventure to learn about himself, visiting the four corners of the earth (or at least traveling in the four cardinal directions) to meet the bears who live there. In the style of Are You My Mother? books, Bear learns that while he has something in common with each bear respectively, he is also unique in ways that teach him emphatically that he is not a grizzly, polar, spectacled, or sun bear. Returning to the library, Bear finally realizes, with the help of his sweet friend Nelly, exactly who he is: the perfect stuffed bear to be a friend for a little child. The story itself is on the longer side, but other than one unfortunate placement of black text on a too-dark background that hinders legibility, the text placement is perfectly executed such that no single page feels too long. The mixed media illustrations—full of friendly bears, jewel tones, and gorgeous textures and details—bring the delightful storyline to life in a burst of color and personality that seamlessly combines realism and whimsy. While the library itself is not mentioned in the text, it’s clever inclusion adds a level of earnestness to Bear’s quest and hints to children where they can begin their own search for knowledge.

What Kind of Book is The Best Kind of Bear


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Race, Ethnicities, & Nationalities

Where Does This Book Stand Out

  • Illustration

    The “Illustration” badge is awarded to books with exceptional illustrations.

  • Heartstrings

    The “Heartstrings” badge is awarded to books that provoke an exceptionally tender emotional response.

What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • Bear doesn't know what kind of bear he is, so he goes on an adventure and discovers some things about himself. What are some things you have learned about yourself, your likes and your dislikes?
  • When Bear starts looking for information about himself, he starts at the library. Have you ever tried to learn about something at the library? What is something you'd like to learn more about? Take an adult to the library with you and ask a librarian for help doing some research!
  • Nelly is a good friend and mentor to bear. She gives him space to learn about himself, but provides love and encouragement when needed. Do you have someone like that in your life? How can you help others around you feel loved and valued?


Book Lists That Include This Book

The Creatives Behind the Book

What Has Greg Gormley Said About This Book

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Book Details

Publication Date
November 12, 2019
Nosy Crow
Text Details
This book was typeset in Decour.
Illustration Details
The illustrations were done in mixed media.
Page Count
Words Per Page
Reading Age
2 - 5 years
Lib. of Congress (LCCN)
Est. Lexile® Level
Est. Fountas & Pinnell Level
ATOS® Book Level
Accelerated Reader Quiz
Accelerated Reader Interest Level

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Core Score - 85%

So, SO close to perfection!

Depth Score - 37%

Just the barebones.

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