Bear Is Not Tired by Ciara Gavin is a lovely snapshot of family unity.

Bear Is Not Tired-Book Cover
Book Cover

I wondered if we would learn why big cuddly Bear was living with the little Duck family.  I mean, it was hard not to notice.


Lovebug didn’t seem concerned, though, that Bears and Ducks don’t typically cohabitate.  And, he’s even at that age when kiddos ask about 300 questions per day.  (That’s what I hear anyway. I swear it’s more.)

So, I expected these questions:

Why does Bear live with the Ducks?

Where is his mommy?

But, those questions didn’t come.  Clearly, Lovebug recognized, Mama Duck is Bear’s mommy.

Our author’s explanation didn’t come either.  Because that’s not what this story is about.

When we enter into their cozy and loving home, our respect for any differences within the Duck family’s unity is pretty much assumed.  The only real questions Lovebug pondered were:

Why are the duckies holding Bear’s eyes open?”  (Not hibernating is a team effort.  He didn’t want to miss all the winter play, of course!)

Look!   Why is his face in his food?  That’s silly!”  (Silly indeed.  He had fallen asleep ‘splat!’ in his plate.  The not hibernating?  Not working.)

Yes, Bear is different; unlike the Ducks, he has to hibernate.  It is something natural and true about his species.  It is this acceptance of difference that embraces the family with a warm air of love.  I want to tear a page out—the scene with tiny Mama Duck comforting gargantuan Bear—frame it, and hang it on my wall.  It is a lovely moment in their lives that we are lucky to share.


Bear Is Not Tired © Copyright by Ciara Gavin, Alfred A. Knopf (an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC)

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