Starting from a description of the basic characteristics of bears as a group, the book then goes on to detail the habits and physical appearance of many of the different varieties, arranged as big bears, middle-sized bears, and little bears. The Around the World designation is the book's strongest feature; readers may be intrigued by such unusual variants as the sloth bears and the Andean bears. Otherwise, the book is a disappointing amalgam of poorly arranged facts, and anecdotes which tend to distract rather than entertain. Synopses of popular folktales about bears are frequently included, where fuller explanations of the facts would seem called for. Although bears are naturally photogenic, even the pictures included here are poor. Small, sometimes faded and blurred, they don't indicate clearly enough the differences among the varieties, and since most were taken in zoos they fail to illustrate the bears' habits. George F. Mason's The Bear Family (1960) covered the same material more thoroughly.