Review Blog

Mar 15 2016

A beginner's guide to bear spotting by Michelle Robinson and David Roberts

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408845554
Picture book. If, like the child in the story, you are planning on going on a bear-spotting adventure, then this is definitely the must-have guide to have with you. You mustn't venture into bear country without knowing the difference between the black bear (ursus americanus) and the brown bear (ursus horribilis); your backpack full of anti-bear gear such as pepper spray and bubble gum; and your trusty teddy for company. And as you are repeatedly told throughout the story, you need to pay attention, focus, take note and heed the advice. For only with it will you be safe.
Even though the chances of coming across either one or the other is pretty unlikely, nevertheless it can happen and the strategies to be applied vary depending on the species. Don't climb a tree if it's a black bear because it can follow you, whereas a brown one can't. Play dead if it's a brown one, although that might be an invitation to dinner if you've confused them because black bears can be a little bit brown and brown bears can be a little bit black.
This is a heart-warming adventure with beautiful illustrations with exquisite line-work that bring all the characters to life and add lots of humour so the reader can be brave and safe at the same time.
Little children love stories about bears, real or not, and this is another one to add to the collection that will bring delight and pleasure and reinforce the idea that stories and reading them are fun. And the next time they go on a bear hunt they will be well-prepared!
Barbara Braxton

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