Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman – Book Review

Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson and Jane ChapmanI’ve seen many positive reviews for Karma Wilson’s most popular book.

I have yet to read that book to my daughter, but I did find a similar book in Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman.

The cover image, showing a frightened bear surrounded by his animal friends in the dark woods, sets the theme for the rest of the story.

Bear Feels Scared tells the story of a big, brown bear. Bear wanders down a forest trail and gets trapped outside at night as a storm begins to rage. Bear’s friends notice he is missing and search for him throughout the night. The book ends with Bear and his friends nestled cozily next to a warm fire in their forest lair.

The book is longer the most comparable board books at 34 pages. Each page contains an illustration in multiple, muted colors. Picture sizes vary between a full, two-page image, single page drawings, and a smaller, inlaid circular illustration.

Arya liked the big pictures where the eyes and faces of the animals were clearly visible. Older children who are familiar with forest scenes will appreciate the intricate details like falling leaves and contorted branches. Although consistently interesting, some of the pictures may be a bit scary for impressionable children. The nighttime theme and frightening undertones of Bear being lost and alone may make the book inappropriate as bedtime reading.

Text switches between a standard A/B/C/B rhyming pattern and a non-rhyming page which always ends with “bear feels scared”. The rhyming pages use simple vocabulary to tell an interesting story. The non-rhyming pages largely consist of additional details highlighting the plight of Bear’s situation.

For its target audience of young toddlers and preschoolers, Bear Feels Scared will be too difficult for children to tackle by themselves. However, with an adult or older sibling to read the book, even the youngest kids will like the story. Babies will enjoy the pictures even when they are too young to understand the words.

Bear Feels Scared costs (including shipping) under $8 new and under $5 used from Amazon.