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Book Review: The Brown Paper Bear by Neil Reed

There are some things in life that instantly create moments of nostalgia. The Brown Paper Bear wonderfully creates one of those moments where readers are transported back through time, perhaps to a playful and joyous childhood.

In this beautifully illustrated story, a young girl named Jessica is awakened out of her sleep by an illuminating light. Drawn by the light’s glare, she stumbles into a closet where a trunk full of toys awaits. At first glance, the toys appear dusty, old, and unfamiliar. She then finds a teddy bear wrapped in a brown paper bag. Once unwrapped, she learns that the teddy bear is magical and its magic seems ignited by her warm embrace. The toy bear gently grabs her by the hand and beckons her to meet his friends. He takes young Jessica on a journey to meet other retro toys from a time long ago. The young girl plays with the toys and is later returned home only to wake up and wonder if it was all a dream – but her grandfather knows better.

Although this book is simplistically told, both the illustrations and words work in tandem to create an endearing feeling of warmth and compassion. This is definitely a book that I would recommend for parents as a night time read aloud.


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