In case you are not familiar with Shirokuma Café at all, it is a manga series about a very chill (but also lazy) panda bear who frequents Polar Bear's Café, and interacts with the coffee shop owner, who is a polar bear. The story happens in a world where animals act just like, and cohabitate with, humans.
But is Shirokuma Café a good learning material for beginners' reading practice? I wouldn't say it's perfectly beginner-friendly, especially for those who are learning Japanese from textbooks. That said, it could be a great learning material if you are…
- a fan of the anime adaptation (thus, already familiar with the speech style)
- familiar with casual speech and wanting to practice reading more casual expressions
- comfortable reading Japanese books
The first dozen chapters or so are pun-oriented, and puns get less frequent after that. So, if you decided to pick up a copy, give yourself permission to skip parts (or even whole chapters) if you're having a hard time understanding them, especially the puns and cultural references. For more in-depth analysis, check out Kanae's full review of Shirokuma Café!