About us

The Bear Can Read was founded to make learning to read at home easier for children and their families. We do this by assembling the best phonics material – books at the right level, focussed worksheets and expert advice, all delivered with a fine balance of purpose and fun.

As parents, we know how hard it can be to learn to read. So we set out to create simple, targeted worksheets and activities with phonics experts. We also ensure that the books are not only the newest and most engaging on the market but they specifically focus on the letters and sounds that the child is learning that month.

Our aim is to make reading levels and targets totally transparent, so parents always know how their child is doing. We want to take the pressure off teachers by giving families access to the very latest and most stimulating phonics materials – at just the right reading level – at home.

We dream of the day when every child is a fluent reader, and the process of learning to read is fun not frustrating.

How it all began

I have been a children’s educational publisher for over 10 years – and although I was surrounded by levelled readers and spent my days working on beautiful books, I could see that my own daughter was struggling with her reading. The phonics books she was bringing home from school were tired, pretty uninspiring, and some over 20 years old.

I started to bring home brand new beautifully illustrated books from work and wrote worksheets around them for her to practise certain sounds. Suddenly, she blossomed. We discussed the stories and she lent some to her friends. Other parents asked me which books their children should read and where to buy them. It was there, at the kitchen table, the idea of The Bear Can Read was born.

Meet the team

CEO & Founder

Camilla Macoun

Camilla has an English Literature degree from St Andrews University and a Masters in Publishing from University of the Arts London. She has worked in children’s publishing for 15 years and has commissioned reading programmes for both Pearson and Oxford University Press. Camilla believes that parents need more information about how to support their children with each reading stage at home – and easier access to the latest phonics books and materials. Camilla lives in London with her husband, Dominic, and their three children, Matilda, Oscar and Harrison.

Chief Operating Officer

Lindsay Fleming

Lindsay has over a decade of experience in business management, due diligence and accounting. Lindsay is a CPA and holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada. Lindsay worked at The Globe and Mail (Canada’s leading national newspaper), KPMG and MacGillivray Partners (now part of Grant Thornton), and various entrepreneurial and consulting initiatives. Lindsay is currently Chair of the parents’ association at her children’s primary school and volunteers at local not-for-profit organisations to support families in need. Lindsay is passionate about education, spinning, yoga, skiing and wellness. She lives in London with her husband Neil and their two daughters Charlotte and Natalie.

Primary Education Advisor

Janet Mills

Janet has over 30 years experience teaching children aged 2 – 8 in both the state and private school sectors. She taught at the highly acclaimed Highgate School in North London for 17 years before leaving to become a Specialist Private Tutor. Janet feels passionately that children thrive when parents are supporting their child’s learning progress at home. Janet has three children Matilda, Freddie and Bertie and lives in London with her husband David and dog Tatty.

Contributing Author

Catherine Baker

Catherine has been writing books and materials to help children learn to read for over 30 years. She has written books and educational materials for leading publishers such as Pearson, Oxford University Press and Collins. Catherine is a phonics expert and spends most of her working life thinking about how to ensure books are at just the right reading level for the children they’re aimed at. She reviews every book before it goes into one of our special deliveries to ensure it will give the child ample opportunity to practise the focus letters and sounds. Catherine has two children, Peter and Marty, and lives in Oxford with her husband Chris.

Design Lead

Jo Samways

Jo has a PGCE in Primary Education and BA Hons Craft. She has over 25 years experience designing books and materials for children aged 2 – 11. Jo has worked at Oxford University Press, Macmillan, and was Head of Primary Design for Pearson Education. Jo spends a lot of time in schools and strongly believes in testing designs with children for their (always) honest feedback. Jo’s design style is engaging, fun, and always age-appropriate. Jo lives near Banbury with her daughter Summer, partner Paul and dog Pinchy.