Browne makes the surreal accessible and appealing for children. His gorgeously detailed illustrations pace the story perfectly, alternating busy, wide forest shots with close-ups of Bear against a white background working his magic. ... Preschoolers will identify with the pragmatic bear and wish for a magic pencil of their own.
—The Horn Book
Bear’s slightly surreal journey is perfectly paced and just right for the most imaginative tots. As Bear continues, he meets Crocodile, Lion, and Elephant before coming to a wall, which he neatly takes care of, too, by drawing a bear-sized hole and stepping through. Although the book closes with Bear saying bye-bye, children will happily imagine further adventures.
The text is simple and unadorned, some pages wordless, leaving plenty of space for visual exuberance and wit. Browne's illustrative art is as richly colored as a Turkish carpet, and each image is surrounded by more white space — suggesting that imagination and art need room to grow.
—The Boston Globe