The Perfect Bear

( 2 )


There once was a bear

who ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (28) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $9.27   
  • Used (21) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...


There once was a bear

who was very fine.

He was so polished

and clean

and proud.

And that made him the

Do Not Touch bear.

As time passed,

he become worn

and gray

and much less fine.

But he was also loved by a little girl.

And that made him

the Perfect Bear.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

If the Velveteen Rabbit first had to overcome a horror of being handled, that classic could become this more didactic and sentimental tale. Writing in spare prose, from the point of view of a "very grand" white stuffed bear with a music box inside him, Shields (The Starlight Baby) emphasizes the old cliché that "it's what's inside us that's important." Blythe's (The Whale's Song) astonishingly realistic oil paintings leaven the misty-eyed story. He subtly changes the bear's expressions as his owner, a girl, breaks and then discards his music box and sews up his fur with black stitches. The three-hankie plot, on the other hand, can go over the top: lamenting his now-shabby appearance, the bear's "brown eyes [gleam] as if they had tears in them." In the end, the bear is lost and reunited with "his girl": "He had the oddest feeling in the empty place where his old music box had been. It was... love." Many readers will lap this up. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1- In the sentimental tradition of Margery Williams's Velveteen Rabbit and Don Freeman's Corduroy (Viking, 1968), Shields offers a story about a child's affection for a stuffed toy. A bear, given to a young girl as a gift, believes that his name is "Do Not Touch" (he had been sitting next to a sign with this message in the shop). He has soft white fur, a little red hat, and a "magic key" on his chest that, when turned, plays a song. Proud of his "finery," he is indeed untouchable, but the girl doesn't understand and plays with him anyway. Over time, he becomes worn and dirty. The bear is sad about his appearance, but the old pink rabbit on the top shelf explains that it is "better to be loved than admired." When the bear is lost in a department store, he realizes that he misses the girl. The tale unfolds in a straightforward manner and comes to the predictable conclusion that love is what you feel on the inside. The oil paint illustrations are stronger than the time-worn sentiment. The pages are filled with soft, painterly depictions of the characters and glow with cuddly warmth. Though there is nothing new here, libraries in need of more tales about beloved stuffed animals can consider this as an additional purchase.-Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA

Kirkus Reviews
Shields's affecting tale chronicles an arrogant toy's transition from revered object to beloved companion. Upon his arrival at the home of a young girl, the stuffed bear-very conscious and proud of his immaculate finery-is appalled when his new owner wants to actually play with him. With sly humor Shields details the bear's disgruntled indignation as he endures being splashed with paint, given an impromptu bath and the like. However, when the now shabby bear becomes separated from his girl in a store, he experiences an epiphany, discovering that a person's-or stuffed bear's-worth cannot be measured by such superficial merits as their appearance. Blythe's full-color oil paintings are brimming with rich detail and texture. His expressive illustrations of bear employ subtle nuances, which perfectly illuminate the bear's persona and his emotional transformation. At the center of this whimsical tale is a gently reassuring message regarding the nature of love and acceptance that young readers will embrace. (Picture book. 4-8)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416953630
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 3/25/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.70 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Gillian Shields was born and brought up in England, where she studied English and worked in a drama school for several years. She now looks after her family and teaches English and drama part-time, as well as writing for children. Her first book, Ben and Gran and the Whole, Wide, Wonderful World, was published by Macmillan in London. The Starlight Baby is Gillian's first book for Simon & Schuster.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2008

    Truly wonderful

    A beautiful story enhanced by near perfect, insightful ilustrations, this book will surely establish itself as a long-term classic

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    childrens book lover

    I just loved this book!! The story has a beautiful message of what is important is what is inside our hearts and not so much of what is on the outside. This book speaks of the love we should have for each other regardless of the situations we face. I recommend this book should be placed on the bookshelf right beside the Velveteen Rabbit.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)