Bear Shaped by Dawn Coulter-Cruttenden


When a book is based on a true story it makes the words even more poignant. When the illustrations are stunningly detailed it tugs at your heart strings that little bit more. When you combine the two you get lost in a wonderful tale of love, loss and moving on. More so when the story is about a young boy, Jack, and his beloved teddy bear.

Dawn Coulter-Cruttenden beautifully depicts Jack and Bear’s relationship through her thoughtful words and pictures. Bear acts as a comfort for Jack – a shield when he is shy, a pal when he is lonely, support when he is vulnerable and a snuggle companion when he craves quiet. One day the unthinkable happens, after a day trip to the park Bear goes missing. Jack loses his cherished companion and has to find a way to cope with the Bear shaped hole he has left behind.

The confusing emotions associated with loss are so sensitively illustrated in this book – the tears, the sadness, the ache, the empty feeling. Jack struggles and throws himself into a quest to get his buddy back. The family begin a frantic search for Bear. Asking strangers, decorating the town with posters and tweeting for help.

Whilst it may not be the ending Jack had hoped for, something amazing happens which will restore your faith in humanity. Strangers help to heal Jack’s hurt through their thoughts and acts of generosity. A desperately sad situation turns into a heart-warming one and Bear’s legacy lives on.


Dawn Coulter-Cruttenden
Dawn Coulter-Cruttenden
Oxford University Press

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