Can Bears Ski?

Raymond Antrobus

The debut children’s book from Ted Hughes award-winning poet Raymond Antrobus that tracks a father-and-son journey into the discovery and management of deafness.

Boy Bear cannot hear Dad Bear coming to wake him up in the morning but he can feel the floor vibrate with his heavy footsteps. He can only grasp little bits of what his teacher says to him at school. He cannot catch what his friends are laughing at. And, all the time, Boy Bear keeps hearing the question, “Can Bears ski?” What does it mean? With the support of Dad Bear, Boy Bear visits an audiologist and, eventually, he gets hearing aids. Suddenly, he understands the question everyone has been asking him: “CAN YOU HEAR ME?”

Raymond Antrobus, the award-winning poet of The Perseverance, draws on his own experience to show how isolating it can be for a deaf child in a hearing world. But through his lyrical and moving words, matched with Polly’s stunning imagery, he also shows how many ways there are to communicate love. With a solid network, Boy Bear will find his place in the world.

Media Reviews

This multi-layered, skilfully woven story provides a brilliant insight into how children make sense of their experience when they don’t have the words to describe it. – The Scotsman

The detail of how Little Bear can feel the vibration of Dad’s feet on the floor rather than hear his voice in the morning, and how he can feel the crunch of the snow under his feet when he walks to school, as well as the experience of visiting an audiologist, bring an authenticity to the depiction of being deaf or hard of hearing in childhood alongside a lovely story told in a relatable child voice. – BookTrust

This is a powerful and beautifully created book. – Able

The story is direct and straight-forward without ignoring either the best times or the challenging times for those who are lip reading and/or have hearing loss. Colourful full-page illustrations will capture the attention of both children and their families. This is a book which should certainly have a place in every primary school for children, teachers, parents and staff. – The School Librarian

Drawing on Antrobus’ childhood experience with undiagnosed deafness, this new paperback edition comes with a BSL alphabet, as well as Dunbar’s cuddly illustrations. – Guardian

This is a lovely heart-warming story that you won’t be able to forget. – Toppsta

It was very interesting for Evie and really held her attention, it was particularly useful as a little boy at her nursery has to use aids to hear and she now has a basic understanding of why he needs them. I can see already that this book is going to be a valuable addition to Evie’s personal library. – Toppsta

Perfect for the very young to get a basic understanding of hearing loss and also the challenges deafness presents. – Toppsta

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