Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Old Bear” as Want to Read:
Old Bear
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Old Bear (Old Bear and Friends)

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  2,326 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
A beautifully-illustrated classic picture book from popular author-illustrator Jane Hissey tells the familiar story of how a much-loved teddy bear is lost and finally found again. Bramwell Brown and his friends Little Bear, Duck and Rabbit attempt to rescue Old Bear from the attic using a number of ingenious methods.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published 1986 by Philomel Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Old Bear, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Old Bear

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 13, 2015 Jamie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
This was wonderful. I loved the old toys as they schemed ways to get Old Bear down from the attic. Fans of Toy Story will enjoy this one.

The art is wonderful and the characters are based of Jane Hissey's kid's toys. Highly recommended. A blast from the past for the toys any adult can appreciate and a fun, imaginative story for the kids to enjoy. We love this book in our house!
Sep 07, 2011 Kathryn rated it really liked it
5 stars for illustrations, 3 stars for story.

Jane Hissey's illustrations are absolutely marvelous! So warm and cuddly and realistic; the old bear looks so sweet, worn and real, I felt like I could reach out and touch his soft fur. I really loved this for the illustrations. The story itself is a bit too long-winded and I didn't really sense anything special in the voice; I imagine if Hissey was trying to get into picture books today they would have paired her with another author or else pared dow
Dec 04, 2016 Cheryl rated it liked it
I dunno, the story just doesn't have enough going on for how long it is. Is it for tots, or young children? Or nostalgic adults? Still, the pictures are indeed lovely. And maybe families today should be given an excuse to slow down and spend some time reading together, instead of racing through a stack of shiny new Bob Shea books. But, um, 1986 is classic?
I kinda would have thought this was a much older book. I mean, 1986? Was it that long ago??
But, the story is in the old vein. It's a new classic, of sorts. Nothing striking maybe, but a nice story of friendship, friends who are ready to do anything in their power to help out one of theirs. My son, just 4, was quite touched by the story, but also the illustrations for which he often asked for extra time to admire them before I would turn the page. The pictures are super realistic. Sweet story!
Sep 05, 2012 Lucinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
A classic tale to treasure.

I have to admit to shedding a tear or two when the most beautiful special collector’s limited edition copy of Old Bear came through the letterbox, which brought back so many memories and nostalgia as I gazed upon the golden cover.

The television series was something that I loved watching as a child as well as reading the stories, of the toys in the playroom from Duck to Rabbit and my favorite of them all the little bear with his red trousers. I have always loved teddy
Sep 22, 2011 Mehzabein rated it really liked it
This was the first time I read old bear and quite enjoyed the story. At the end of it, I thought this would be a great book to read to KS1 children and would be an excellent story that could be implemented within the lesson plan and the theme of toys. I thought the story book put accross a sense of belonging and was good for providing children with positive messages about looking out for our friends and caring for one another. Furthermore, whilst reading the story, it was easy to imagine childre ...more
Jan 07, 2013 Sandra rated it liked it
Old bear is a fictional children’s story where toys come to life! Brown bear had a strange feeling that his friend old bear had been forgotten after being placed in the attic. He decides that they shall all go on a mission to rescue friend old bear down from the attic. Several attempts are made before Rabbit and little bear realise that they can rescue old bear by flying in a toy helicopter up to the attic. They are successful in doing this and Old bear is found and reunited with his friends.

Dec 04, 2016 Jenny rated it really liked it
A sweet story of several toy friends who begin to miss Old Bear. He was put up in the attic to protect him when the children were young. But now they are old enough to take care of him and so Duck, Rabbit, Little Bear and Bramwell Brown decide to rescue him from the attic. It's not easy getting a toy down from the attic when you are a toy. It requires a great deal of creativity, problem solving and determination to implement a successful plan. But these darling toys persevere. The story is sweet ...more
May 22, 2012 Beverly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
This is a great story of toy friends working together to rescue the teddy bear abandoned in the attic.
Hissey's paintings are meticulously detailed and realistic. The paintings of the toys are identical to the photo of the toys in the author's blurb at the back! She also wrote a few other stories featuring the same toy animals that were just as lovely.
Sep 28, 2015 Siobhan rated it really liked it
A wonderful read from my childhood, one I’d certainly suggest for other youngsters. Whilst it is not my all-time favourite childhood read I can still recall all the details of this one meaning it certainly left a lasting impression upon my young mind.

And isn’t that what we want with children’s books, for them to leave a positive lasting impression?
This book was a little too wordy for my son. He still kept along but every once in a while he lost his concentration. We loved the premise of the story and the drawings. But I think it could have been better had it been simplified. It wasn't a bad read but I don't think we will be reading this one again
I was lucky enough to win a copy of Old Bear in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.

I am 23 years old, and upon finding 'Old Bear' listed in the giveaways section, I was overcome with first delight, secondly nostalgia, and then a strange mental image of some toys clinging to a balsa-wood prop plane as it tried to fly into an attic hatch - I actually had to go and check with my mum if Old Bear had been televised, or if I was having a very vivid flashback to my childhood imagination. It turned out to
I admit it, I remember little about the book itself. I'm basing my rating on the television series, and how many laughs and tears my family and I shared during that blissful time called childhood.

The characters were distinctive and adorable; and not just because they were stuffed animals and so were automatically endearing to my mind as a nipper. As well as being a cute adventure story, 'Old Bear', most importantly, contains a subtle message about never leaving anybody behind; not your family o
Alex Telander
Nov 08, 2013 Alex Telander rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First published in 1986, Old Bear has been made available for children for a number of years, and has now been released in a beautiful limited collector’s edition.

Bramwell Brown, a cuddly little bear, has lots of fun hanging out with his friends: Duck, Rabbit and Little Bear, but like his friends, he does miss Old Bear. Old Bear is no longer with them, because he was being handled too roughly by the children and so has been put up in the attic, away from those harmful hands. But the fluffy toys
Kristina Silverbears
Sep 22, 2014 Kristina Silverbears rated it it was amazing
Shelves: babies
The dramatic rescue of Old Bear is one I want to read again and again to my children. I loved Hissey's thematic use of loneliness, friendship and adversity. Also the idea that Old Bear needed to be rescued is a perfect playtime activity for young children who understand what it's like to be caught in situations where they need help. Old Bear was put in the attic because "the children were being too rough with him and he needed somewhere safe to go for a while" which is a great explanation for se ...more
Oct 08, 2013 Christine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I love this book. The illustrations remind me of something from my childhood- I'm not sure if it was from this book (the edition we just got in is a Limited edition reprinting), but they look very familiar. It is the sweet story of Bramwell Brown and his stuffed animal counterparts who decide to rescue Old Bear from the Attic where he was put some time ago. After several foiled plans, that are quite entertaining (my favorite lines: '"Sorry," said Duck, "perhaps that wasn't a very good idea." "No ...more
Rebecca Oblein
May 07, 2013 Rebecca Oblein rated it it was amazing
“Old Bear/ Old bear and friends” was one of my ultimate favourites as a child. It is one of the toys birthdays but they soon realise one of their friends is missing…..he is in the attic. So the toys try a number of different and ingenious ways in order to reach old bear in the attack. I find it a good book to read to a KS 1 class and it can lead to a variety of lesson plans. It could provide children the sense of taking care of things, old and new toys (history), belonging and caring for our fri ...more
Sep 22, 2012 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: goodreads
I have retired from over 35 years of teaching primary school this year; seeing the Old Bear giveaway, I had to enter it, as although I have shared Old Bear with many hundreds of children coming through my class, as well as my own daughter (who was also delighted to win a copy of this book), I have never owned a copy!

The Special Edition copy that arrived was utterly beautiful. Jane Hissey is a very talented artist, and it is the wonderful illustrations that make Old Bear quite so special. I enjoy
Jul 12, 2015 Charlotte rated it really liked it
A small teddy bear was thinking of his old friend, Old Teddy Bear. He was stored up in the attic because the kids were treating him badly when they were young. The toys thought it was time to get out old teddy and tried many ways to get him down. My favorite part is when they got teddy down by flying a toy airplane up to get the teddy bear and then parachuting down. My least favorite part was when old teddy was up there all alone for many years.
Jul 11, 2014 Nora rated it liked it
Shelves: jp
The toys in the playroom are really alive & remember a friend stashed in the attic for safekeeping. They decide to rescue him & try first by building a block tower, then making themselves into a tower, next by bouncing on the bed, and finally by climbing a houseplant. They finally succeed by using a toy airplane to get Little Bear up to the attic. He uses a paintbrush to push the trap door open & pulls himself in. He finds Old Bear & they parachute down using handkerchiefs!
Jan 30, 2013 Matthew rated it it was amazing
I had left Old bear when I moved house as a child and to this day I mourn the loss of it. In fact it wasn't long ago that I came across a copy and in a fit of nostalgia ranted on about how I'd read it and re read it till my eyes were sore to a friend. So perhaps my rating is clouded by the overwhelming sense of nostalgia but really what is a kids book if you don't look back and smile about it. So you mothers and fathers of the world do your child some good and get them this book!
Sheila Maughan
Sep 04, 2012 Sheila Maughan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent childrens book, well written lovely pictures. I read this to my two nieces when they were little and I gave these to my niece for her 4 children she is reading it to them at night and they all love it. Charlie, the oldest (10) is enjoying listening to his 2 lttle sisters, Kathleen (18 months) and even Alice (4 months) and his little brother Jim (3)as they giggle and chatter as their mother reads it to them, and shows them the pictures.
Charlotte Julie
Within an hour of receiving this book my son was itching to read it, so we did and I have to say he loved it and I think it's his new favourite as he's already asked to read it again. Old bear is about Barnaby bear and friends as they set out to rescue Old Bear from the attic. My son's favourite bit was trying to rescue old bear by plane and mine was the pictures with the animals jumping on the bed. A great story for any age.
Jun 19, 2014 Lucy rated it it was amazing
I remember as far aback as nursery being able to read these with my little friends and my sister or having them read to me, I really liked these books, Jane Hissy, a lot of respect for the idea that allowed me to enjoy these during my childhood. I loved the illustrations and old bear was one of my favourites! I think it's good for children books with good illustrations help to captivate the story and keep the attention as well as to be able to create their own imaginations for the story.
Using the same animals that she wrote about in Little Bear Lost, the
author tells how old bear returned to the toy room. Using toys available, friends rescued old bear from a lonely life in the attic. (Shades of Toy Story?)

What child doesn't love to hear what his toys do all day long without him? These books will start his imagination. Good use of animals, but no humans involved.
Dec 02, 2014 Dayana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won a copy of this book through the Goodreads 'First Reads'. I want to say thank you to Goodreads First Reads and the author for selecting me as one of the winners in this book giveaway. The illustrations were perfect and understandable to little children. Each page of text was supported with a illustration which helps enermously the child to image what the adult is reading.
Jan 05, 2016 Cataluna6 rated it really liked it
There is something lovingly familiar about this book, I'm not sure if I read it when I was younger, but I got nostalgic while reading it. It reminded me of when I thought that my teddies had awfully big adventures when I wasn't around to play with them. A wonderful story and beautifully illustrated.
Terrific! The illustrations are wonderful and the story about stuffed animals saving one of their own is sure to please young readers. Probably good for kindergarten-2nd graders, as there's more words than some of the other picture books I've read recently. Also implies the value of keeping in touch with old friends & also that sometimes something older has the most value.
Aug 11, 2009 Tori rated it it was amazing
I'm sure she's no hidden secret to most book lovers, but Jane Hissey was a pleasant surprise to me. These books are amazing! Beautiful artwork, lovely stories and well-mannered characters that have gentle adventures. I know it sounds a little passe, but these sorts of books are hard to find, these days. I love the Old Bear books!
Laura Simpson
Sep 04, 2012 Laura Simpson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the books that I thoroughly enjoyed as a child, the narrative is flawless and the illustrations are so beautiful. A book I will cherish for years to come and hope to share with my own children one day :).
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Mousehole Cat
  • Alfie Gets in First
  • The Cow Who Fell in the Canal
  • The Church Mouse
  • Avocado Baby
  • Lotta's Bike
  • Slinky Malinki
  • Peace At Last
  • Jamela's Dress
  • Morris's Disappearing Bag
  • Das kleine Ich-bin-ich
  • One Snowy Night (Book & Tape)
  • Barbapapa (Barbapapa, #1)
  • My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes
  • Father Christmas
  • Ernest and Celestine
  • Gorilla
  • Mister Magnolia

Recognized in both publishing and TV, Jane Hissey is best known for her children’s book series Old Bear & Friends. First published in 1986, it later became the inspiration for BAFTA award winning TV series Old Bear Stories.

As a child growing up in Norfolk, Jane developed a love for writing and drawing. Her holidays were spent wandering fields and lanes, conjuring up fantastical worlds with pen

More about Jane Hissey...

Other Books in the Series

Old Bear and Friends (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Little Bear's Trousers
  • Little Bear Lost
  • Jolly Tall
  • Jolly Snow (Red Fox Picture Books)
  • Little Bear's Bedtime (Old Bear)
  • Little Bear's Day
  • Ruff
  • Hoot
  • Little Bear's Dragon and Other Stories
  • Little Bear's Alphabet

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »