‘Bear Shaped,’ by Dawn Coulter-Cruttenden.

This absolutely beautiful picture book is based on the real life story of Jack and his beloved Bear. Seven-year-old Jack has autism and Bear is his constant companion and bridge to the world around him. ‘Bear Shaped’ tells the story of what happened when Bear went missing and Jack’s dad sent a tweet out into the world…


Jack and his bear were very best friends. They went everywhere together. When Jack was too shy to talk, he’d talk through Bear, when he was scared to try something new, Bear would try it first.

However, after one special day out, Bear had simply disappeared. Jack couldn’t find him anywhere. It felt like a big Bear-shaped hole was opening up inside him. Jack put up posters asking people to look out for Bear. What happened next surprised everyone, especially Jack.


This is Dawn’s debut picture book and her stunning illustrations add the perfect level of softness and warmth to this real-life story of love, loss and moving on.

The subject of autism is gently handled, making it an interesting read for those with experience of living with the condition, and to see themselves featured in a positive light. Besides that, it a heart-warning read for anyone with that one very special soft toy.

Library Girl.

*Many thanks to Oxford University Press for sending me this title to review*



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