Bear’s Best Friend

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Illustrated by Sarah Dyer

published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Bear has lots of friends, but he doesn’t have a best friend. No matter how hard he looks, he just can’t find one. Until, one day, Bear’s unusual talent for topiary helps something new blossom in his life…

A touching story about the value of friendship, and how sometimes it can be difficult to find just the perfect friend for you .


Why I loved writing this book:

I was introduced to Bear by Sarah Dyer, the lovely illustrator of this book, who had come up with a splendid character, but needed a story for a bear with an unusual hobby. I’m a passionate gardener who loves clipping my hedges into strange shapes, so I connected with Bear and his snipping shears immediately. What I focussed in on at once was that Bear’s topiary habit made him a bit unusual – and unusual can be a problem for a child when it comes to making friends, as I found out myself when I was young. I sometimes felt like the outsider looking in on all the ‘normal’ kids, and although that didn’t stop me being me, it was occasionally hard to deal with. When I was writing the story, I wanted Bear to find his perfect soulmate – and of course, he does – a Bear with hair…twirly, swirly, curly hair, just right for someone with a pair of snipping shears!

Reviews and quotes

“A perfect bedtime read.” Bookbabblers

“A winner of a book that could become many a child’s best friend.” Awfully Big Reviews

“A charming story about the magic of friendship which may bring a tear to your eye” Parents in Touch

“The language is a joy…thoughtful and enjoyable” Armadillo Magazine.

“Coats’s ebullient, sympathetic story is perfectly matched by Sarah Dyer’s warm and witty illustrations.” The Times