Not So Scary Bear, Ruth Waters (author, illus.), Windy Hollow Books, May 2018.

Imagine trying to be something, or someone, you’re not. Imagine trying to live to a stereotype rather than just being yourself. Clearly, this is the case for Not So Scary Bear – the bear who can’t fool anyone, not even himself.

In this gorgeous, witty and thought-provoking tale written and illustrated by debut picture book author, Ruth Waters, a large brown bear growls and roars his way through the forest in an attempt to scare all the animals. Because that’s what he’s supposed to do. But he faces an internal battle of wills. How can he continue to keep up this facade when he’d rather be knitting or star gazing? How will he ever make any friends? Here’s how… Not So Scary Bear plans a secret ploy to disguise himself to the forest folk. But, his plan literally begins to unravel. Will Not So Scary Bear be able to reveal his true identity to his new friend without judgement?

With adorable illustrations created with rich and vivacious paper and wool collage, acrylic (and mess!), Waters’ affable text and images fittingly appeal to the young preschool-aged group. The simple colour palette of mainly primary colours, and green and brown, further enhances the intrinsic nature of the story – of living an uncomplicated life with the basic need for truth, self-assurance and friendship.

Playful and heartwarming. Not So Scary Bear has arrived! Get those knitting needles ready!

Review by Romi Sharp.

Read our special interview with Not So Scary Bear here.

Watch the book trailer here.

Chance to WIN a Windy Hollow Books Picture Book Pack including Not So Scary Bear and Love Was Hiding over at children’s popular podcast, One More Page! Click here for details.

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