Bearly Different

Children - Picture Book
30 Pages
Reviewed on 01/26/2015
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Bearly Different is a children’s picture book written and illustrated by Kayla Carbone and Janine Carbone. Henry is going to the park with his family. They are going to have a picnic, and Henry is carrying a basket of food and a blanket. When he reaches the park, Henry notices that everyone there looks different. He doesn’t feel too good about that because he doesn’t like being different. He imagines himself as a big, mean, chocolate brown bear roaring in his forest. His big sister joins in and imagines herself as a wood brown bear who eats bugs. Each member of Henry’s family pictures themselves as a different type of bear, and Henry realizes that being different isn’t really as bad as he thought it was.

Kayla Carbone and Janine Carbone’s children’s picture book, Bearly Different, is a marvelous story that shows children that diversity is not something to be frightened of or get angry about. The authors’ story illustrates that even in one’s family it’s okay to be different, and that you still belong, no matter your skin color, size or interests. The illustrations work beautifully with both the story and the imaginary scenarios Henry and his family concoct. Each panel is brightly colored and filled with action and feeling. This is a good book for parents and caregivers to read aloud, but it’s also written with first-readers in mind. Bearly Different shows that being different is something to feel good about, and that is a great message indeed. It’s most highly recommended.

Michelle Robertson

Young children are either afraid to be different from others around them or are simply too innocent to know the difference. In Henry's case, his youthful innocence did not shield him from knowing he was different to others. As he and his family entered the park to enjoy a picnic lunch, he began to feel uncomfortable with all the different looking people. He wanted everyone to be the same as him. He began to pretend he was a mean grizzly bear who lived in the dark forest. His parents joined him in his little game and they too began to pretend to be bears. When it came to his little brother and his father's turn to pretend, Henry was not happy they chose to be different bears. They had not chosen to be mean bears. He then learned that his family were different from one another, even if they possessed some similarities, and that it was okay to be different, as everyone is different in their own way.

Bearly Different written by Kayla and Janine Carbone is a wonderful children's pictorial book introducing young readers to the concept of being different, a multicultural world, and using one's imagination. The authors have creatively spread the word to young children that "Being different is okay, even from your closest of family." It is important for young children to feel that they are accepted within their own family, as well as within the outside world. The authors have accomplished this by making the main character, Henry, experience what a young child might feel when it comes to diversity within a multicultural world, and thus making the book highly relatable and comfortable for young readers to enjoy.

Darin Godby

Bearly Different is a very fun, entertaining and enjoyable children’s book. Kayla and Janine Carbone do a beautiful job of engaging the reader and allowing them to get involved in the story. The story begins with a young lad named Henry who is on an outdoor excursion with his family. When Henry looks around the park, he is frustrated that he seems different from everyone around him. Through his imagination, he views himself as a large, mean bear. Soon his sister gets involved in the game and declares that she too is a bear. Mother, father and little brother get involved in the same game and all pretend to be different types of bears with various personalities.

The point of the story is that we may all look different, behave differently, live in different locations, yet we are all bears and bears are a big family. When we are different, we find our own unique features as something to be enjoyed and shared with others. Tall, short, brown, black, growling or smiling, we all make up a great family of bears which make all of our differences special.

Authors Kayla and Janine Carbone have beautiful illustrations to engage the reader, bringing them into the story and allowing them the opportunity to enjoy and share this entertaining adventure. Children will find it amusing to enact some of the activities the bears are doing. Pick up your copy of Bearly Different and begin the enjoyable adventure today.