Strange Bear by Hilary McKay


Strange Bear by Hilary McKay

Simon's bear is called Snowtop. Snowtop's fur is a mixture of jam, paint and sandpit. Simon thought he was beautiful. But one day Simon goes out with Gran and when he comes back Snowtop has gone! In his place sits a pure-white strange bear. How can Simon find his lovely, muddy, smelly Snowtop?

About the Author

Hilary McKay

Hilary McKay won the Guardian Children's Award with her first novel, The Exiles. Her subsequent work has achieved similar recognition - The Exiles at Home won the Smarties Prize and Saffy's Angel won the Whitbread and was selected for the inaugural Booked up list. Most recently, the acclaimed Binny for Short was longlisted for the 2014 Carnegie Medal.. A graduate of Botany and Zoology from St Andrews University, Hilary now writes full-time. She lives in Derbyshire with her family.

You can read her character Rose Casson's blog by clicking here - and Rose's tweets on the right hand side of this page.

Q & A with Hilary Mckay

What is your earliest childhood memory?
Watching steam trains with my grandfather. He died before I was two years
old, so that is a very early memory.

If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
Well, who could turn down the gift of flight? Or travel without luggage? Or a
life spent following the sun? Without doubt, I would be a swallow. I realise this
means a lifetime of eating flies, but I think it would be worth it.

What is your dream holiday destination?
I would start at the Sangre de Cristo mountains in New Mexico and travel South
through Central America, along the coast to Peru, then down through Chile
across to the Falklands and on to Antarctica, which I would circumnavigate.
Then I would travel North to New Zealand where I would spend a long time
warming up and then across to Australia. I would spend quite a long time in
Sydney and go up into the Blue Mountains (I might go sapphire hunting there)
and then to the Great Barrier Reef (of course).
That would be far enough for me.

What is your morning routine?
Alas, I do not have a morning routine.

If you could have one special talent, what would it be?
Singing, undoubtedly. That would make me the happiest. But I have a friend
whose talent is languages and I envy that one very much.

Likes: Millions of things! Books, cats, honey, letters from readers (hint, hint), real music, apples, swimming in cold water, chocolate coated ginger biscuits, trees.

Dislikes: Putting things away, litter, loud TV, hot rooms, being told what to think.

3 words that best descibe me: Untidy, happy, hopeful!

A Secret that not many people know: I am a VERY slow reader!

More books by this author

Other Formats

Book Info


32 pages


Hilary McKay
More books by Hilary McKay

Author's Website


Publication date

14th October 1998



I love lovereading4kids because I’ve read amazing books I would never have picked up, and its opened doors to new genre’s I now love.

Harriet Cunningham

I have told all my friends, family & teachers to see for themselves just how great the site is. Without fail, they are hugely impressed.

Alexander Boxall – age 11

I love finding new books to read. My mummy and me look at the new ones coming out. I have written reviews of some of them!

Jessica Cobbin – age 7

It is THE website to use for narrowing down your search for any book. Definitely knocks the socks off any other book review website.

Nickey and Tomasz Hawryszczuk

Love “Lovereading4kids” as my son gets to hear about & read new books before his mates which keeps him interested in reading=a very happy Mum

Liz Evans

I love ‘LoveReading 4 kids’ because they let you read and learn things you’d never dreamed of learning before.

Emily Horncastle – age 11

I love Lovereading because I often never know what to read and this helps you find a good book. I have recommended this to many people.

Shannon-Louise Masters – age 15

I love Lovereading as it provides an honest opinion and showcases a range of fiction. Suited to both parents & kids alike, it’s a must-use.

Georgie Rowe – age 16

Lovereading 4 schools