How Do You Care for a Very Sick Bear? by V. Bayer


  • Jenn Laskosky



Bayer, Vanessa. How Do You Care for a Very Sick Bear? Illustrated by Rosie Butcher. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 2019.

Vanessa Bayer’s How Do You Care for a Very Sick Bear? provides young readers with advice on how to deal with and help their friends who are facing a difficult illness. The book offers suggestions and advice for young children, but also reminds them that even though their friend is sick, they are still their friend. Bayer’s story provides examples of the simple gestures that friends can make when helping each other.

The illustrations by Rosie Butcher are bright, colourful, and simple. Butcher illustrates common activities that friends would do together, which makes them relatable to children even though the characters are bears. The illustrations take up most of the page and provide young readers with a lot to explore. The text throughout the book is simple and easy to read.

Bayer’s story tackles a difficult topic, but she presents it in a way that is easy for children to understand. Her use of bears as her main characters helps to soften the impact of a difficult topic to approach with children. However, Bayer is also honest with her portrayal of illness, which offers children a realistic view of what to expect.

This book can be very useful for children who have a friend facing a difficult illness. Additionally, it can be useful to parents when explaining illnesses to their children. With that in mind, I would recommend it for elementary school and public libraries.

Highly Recommended: 4 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Jenn Laskosky

Jenn Laskosky is a masters student at the University of Alberta in the Library and Information Studies program. She has an interest in health sciences librarianship and international librarianship. Her passion for reading has continued to grow throughout her education.




How to Cite

Laskosky, J. (2020). How Do You Care for a Very Sick Bear? by V. Bayer. The Deakin Review of Children’s Literature, 9(2).



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