Reviews /

Never Brush a Bear

Authored by Sam Hearn
Illustrated by Sam Hearn
Published by Happy Yak

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Never Brush a Bear is a jolly, rhyming story in which Herschel, a small boy who loves to brush hair, sets off to fulfil his dream – to brush a bear! Of course, Herscel is warned that this is a dangerous mission. His journey takes him miles – on a hike over mountains and through woods until he finds a bear’s cave. But the bear he finds is polite and friendly and rather partial to some grooming! Together Herschel and the bear have lots of fun!

This is a joyful story, with rich language, written in present tense. The illustrations, which accompany the text, are direct, created using rich blocks of colour and simple shapes. Frameless illustrations and double paged spreads demonstrate Herschel’s sense of adventure and freedom as the reader follows him on his quest and engages with his friendship with the bear. Movement and action within the illustrations helps accentuate the narrative’s pace. Bold and larger fonts stress the danger of Herschel’s mission, building excitement. The narrative is made even more accessible to younger readers by setting the characters in familiar scenes such as a child’s bedroom and woodland.

While reading Never Brush a Bear there would be much to spot and discuss in each of the pages. The title itself is a good starting point for encouraging book chatter. This story would make a good class read aloud for younger readers up to Nursery or Reception aged children or be a lovely book for adults to share with them in their homes.