Growing up I played with stuffed animals. My favorites were bears. Once people found out that bears were my favorite I received them as gifts for every occasion. Playing I made up stories with my bears to entertain myself.
So the characters come from some of my favorite bears that I have. I remember when my niece came to visit Grandma, she was going to stay all night by herself. She didn’t need her brothers to stay with her. Grandma would take good care of her. But as bedtime rolled around she was a little apprehensive about going up the stairs to bed. I’ll never forget her face when she got to the top of the stairs and saw my Pooh Bear sitting on a small bench at the top of the stairs. Her face lit up and a huge smile appeared. She went right to him picked him up and hugged him. All was right in the world as any house with a Pooh Bear was an okay place to be.
Another reason to use bears in storytelling is that many children can relate to them. Teddy bears equate to comfort and safety. They help children handle emotions and stress. Bears are used by police to comfort children when they are in distressing situations to help calm them. I felt using bears to tell stories about stressful topics like bullying would make the story easier to understand and relate to.
The hope is that later if a child is faced with a similar situation, they can apply the technique that Millionaire Bear shared with Bear to overcome his situation.