Cover image for My best friend Bear
My best friend Bear
Johnston, Tony, 1942-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Flagstaff, Az. : Rising Moon 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 28 cm
When a treasured teddy bear becomes so worn that it is mistaken for a monkey, a little girl and her mother decide to restore Bear to "his good old self."
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.4 0.5 48276.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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When a treasured teddy bear becomes so worn that it is mistaken for a monkey, a little girl and her mother decide to restore Bear to "his good old self."

Author Notes

Tony Johnston was born in Los Angeles, California on January 30, 1942. She received a B.A. in history and an M.A in education from Stanford University. Before becoming a full-time author, she worked as a fourth-grade teacher.

She has written over 70 books for children. Her titles include Amber on the Mountain, the Cowboy and the Black-Eyed Pea, Day of the Dead, the Ghost of Nicholas Greebe, the Sparky and Eddie series, and the Adventures of Mole and Troll. Her first adult novel was Any Small Goodness.

Her works have earned her several awards including a Children's Choice Award for Four Scary Stories and the Beatty Award in 2002 for Any Small Goodness.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-5. You can tell a bear is loved very much when his ears have worn away from being told so many secrets, his mouth has disappeared from laughing at so many jokes, and his stuffing is all danced out. But when the grocer mistakes Bear for a monkey, Mother says it's time for a makeover. Bear's owner, a little girl, agrees: "If Bear had a mouth, he would say, `Yes. And hurry, please.'" Fixing Bear is a long, painstaking process that can't be rushed. As Mother starts to sew, the girl is right there to make sure she gets it right. When Mother is through, Bear is no longer a monkey look-alike; he is "fierce and mighty Bear," friend and protector, and the best kookamonga dance partner the girl has ever had. Allen's appealing watercolor-and-colored-pencil illustrations tell the story visually for children paging through on their own, and do a nice job depicting the special bond between girl and Bear. This sweet, funny story will strike a chord with listeners, especially those who have a special comfort object of their own. --Lauren Peterson

Publisher's Weekly Review

Johnston's (It's About Dogs) ode to a much-loved teddy in desperate need of repair essentially divides into two distinct parts. "What a fine monkey," the grocer tells the young heroine when she brings her favorite toy shopping, not exactly the praise she's expecting. "Bear is so sad, he could cry. But his eyes are gone." So, unfortunately, is much of the rest of him ("I have told him so many secrets, his ears are gone. He has laughed at so many jokes, his mouth is gone," notes his owner). Mother adds that when bears start looking like monkeys, "It's high time to fix them." At this juncture, the story abruptly pivots from the girl's relationship to her toy to address readers directly with a step-by-step repair process ("Then what do you do?"). Johnston chronicles the makeover from stitching to shampooing to line-drying ("You stay while he dries/ and eat a sandwich and/ shoo the birds away√Ą/ in case he looks like stuff/ for a nest"). Allen's (Mud Pie Annie) watercolor and colored pencil illustrations, with their soft shading and slightly smudged outlines, aid in connecting the two sections of the book and exude warmth. Ages 3-5. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-Originally published in Great Britain, this story is reminiscent of The Velveteen Rabbit. A little girl loves the stuffing right out of Bear, who is there to celebrate the great days as well as to accompany her to bed on dark, rainy nights. When he is no longer recognizable, her mother repairs him. The illustrations mix pen and ink with watercolor and colored pencil, and are active and joyous. They depict a real child dancing about in pajamas, hair flying out of pigtails, projects scattered around her room. The text is active as well, sometimes swirling and curving on the page; colored words stand out from the rest of the text, giving emphasis to the child's feelings for the stuffed animal. However, the story itself is flawed. It begins with the youngster telling the story: "When I am in bed and it is dark-." Then, when her mother decides to mend the toy, the story suddenly changes to second-person narrative: "You close your eyes to remember how Bear was-." There seems to be no reason for this switch. Another confusion: the bear is shown as fairly new, then missing ears and stuffing within a few pages, without any real comment on the fact that time must be passing. Stronger titles about special bears include Don Freeman's Corduroy (Viking, 1968) and Jez Alborough's Where's My Teddy? (Candlewick, 1992).-Susan Marie Pitard, formerly at Weezie Library for Children, Nantucket Atheneum, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.