The Bear in My Family

The Bear in My Family cover
The Bear in My Family written and illustrated by Maya Tatsukawa

by Maya Tatsukawa

Dial, 2020
32 pages

Ages 3-6

“We live with a bear!” a boy insists. The bear that sleeps in the bedroom next to his is loud, bossy, and strong. His parents act like the bear is a member of the family, and he wonders why they can’t see the truth. But when a trio of big kids order him off a swing, the bear roars loudly, scaring the bullies away, and then uses its strong arms to give swing pushes. The bear dispenses band aids when needed, eats food the boy doesn’t like off his plate, and gives bear hugs. The large dark grey bear pictured throughout the book eventually takes the form of a human big sister, saying “I told you I’m NOT a bear!” With a smile, the boy declares that not only is she a bear, but so is he, and the two siblings roar in unison. Brief lines of speech bubble dialogue, and short first-person statements from the young narrator, combine with soft-colored digital illustrations incorporating a variety of suggested textures and showing a light brown-skinned family that appears Asian to tell a story full of gentle humor, warmth, and emotional honesty. ©2020 Cooperative Children’s Book Center