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The Good Bear

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 snowy 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.

A gorgeous Christmas story for readers aged 9+ that will warm your heart and take you on an adventure you will never forget. Beautifully illustrated by award-winning illustrator Fiona Woodcock, the artist behind Abi Elphinstone’s The Snow Dragon.

Our Review Panel says...

The Good Bear is a superb story to snuggle up with in the winter months, exploring themes of families, relationships and ‘togetherness’ through the tale of a young girl and a life-changing visit to the Norwegian winter. Thea, the main character, retells her story as a first-person narrative and sets the scene for the action to come through the first chapter, where she is beginning to settle down to tell her tale to her daughter as a part of a long-standing Christmas tradition.

In her story, set 30 years before, Thea receives an invitation to spend the Christmas holidays with her estranged father, who works as a carpenter and lives with his wife and her children in Norway. As she arrives, there is news that a bear has escaped from a circus and may be hiding in the forests near to where she is staying.

Thea’s complex emotions towards her father are sensitively and honestly written; particularly Thea’s anger towards Henry’s new family and their seemingly perfect life. Thea’s relationship with the bear is central to the story and gives the book a sense of Christmas magic that is warm and gentle; a welcome contrast to the more overtly tinsel-filled Christmas books.

A beautiful story brimming with winter magic.

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