For Kids and Their Grown-Ups: “Can Bears Ski?” by Raymond Antrobus

Created by Laura Frantz, collection development librarian

Little Bear can sense rumbling and shaking when Dad Bear tries to get his attention. Or when Teacher Bear stamps on the ground. But when someone speaks to him, Little Bear just hears “can bears ski?”

Dad Bear takes him to an audiologist who performs tests and fits Little Bear with hearing aids. Soon he discovers the world can be a loud place, particularly when he realizes the meaning behind “Can Bears Ski?”

Author Raymond Antrobus and illustrator Polly Dunbar draw on their own personal experiences in creating this wonderful picture book story. The soft, expressive illustrations capture Little Bear’s range of emotions throughout. We see the excitement, confusion, frustration, and happiness Little Bear experiences as well as the loving bond between a parent and child.

The author, who is deaf, has said of his picture book debut, “It’s the book I could see myself reaching for as a child, and I’m excited to have it exist in the world.” We agree, and think it is a great story to share with all kids.