The Book Activist reviews Grrrrr! by Rob Biddulph

Age 3+

‘Fred is the Best Bear in the Wood.  But he’s about to learn that sometimes there are more important things than winning. Because this year, there’s a new bear in town....’


From the award winning author of ‘Blown Away’, Rob Biddulph, comes a fantastic new picture book called ‘Grrrrr!’ featuring the wonderful character of Fred the ‘best bear in the wood’!  

Fred Bear is a champion and has won the contest for Best Bear three years in a row, with lots of medals and trophies to show for it.  From fish catching to hula-hooping, Fred is the best at everything in the competition.  And whilst Fred thinks he doesn’t need friends, spending all his time practising, he soon discovers they are very helpful when he loses his growl just before this year’s contest is due to start.  Will he find it in time to compete in the final and most important event – the growling challenge? And just who is the new arrival who might steal Fred Bear’s champion title, amongst other things?

This is a truly lovely story, told in rhyme, about finding friendship just when you need it the most and how winning can’t replace having friends.  The story cleverly touches on being honest and how we all want to find friends and sometimes we aren’t sure how to. Amazing, vibrant illustrations bring the story to life, perfectly showing the more humorous moments.  All the different animals add something to the narrative – watch out for the little rabbits in the background!  Older children will quickly grasp the language through the rhyming structure and enjoy learning the unusual names of some of the other characters, such as Eugene the Owl.

This is a brilliant story to read aloud, with opportunities for audience participation and ‘grrrrring’ at the appropriate moments! After winning the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2015 for his debut ‘Blown Away’, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rob Biddulph picked up more awards for this book too!

Victoria Dilly, The Book Activist -

You can buy a copy here or...

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