The Bear in My Family

Dial. Mar. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780525555827.
PreS-K–“I live with a bear” states the book’s unnamed human boy. As he describes it, this is one scary bear, with a loud roar, fierce appetite, and bossy attitude. Family or not, his parents just don’t understand. After some further reflection and an interaction with a few neighborhood bullies, the boy sees the benefits of having a bear-ish older sibling. Tatsukawa’s tale features endearing artwork. Sentences and a handful of dialogue balloons are brief, leaving most of the room for the digitally textured art, which almost looks like stamp work. For a debut title, this picture book is very well paced, and nicely emphasizes how even children at odds can connect. As the boy learns, sometimes they will get on each other’s nerves, but they are there for each other; they are family.
VERDICT Simple and sweet. A story that should resonate with siblings.

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