Something About a Bear by Jackie Morris
|Something About a Bear by Jackie Morris|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Bear lovers look out - this book has bear overload! Eight different kinds of bears depicted in beautiful pictures that really are works of art!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: October 2014|
|Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Shortlisted for the 2016 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal
I'm partial to a book about bears, as I've mentioned in previous reviews, so I jumped at the chance to read this book. I could give you a couple of paragraphs just on the cover art if you like! I'm not fussy about my bears in bear books...I'm not a purist, requiring that they all look like real bears, but in this book the illustrations are really wonderfully done. Mr Bear on the cover is a delightfully serious brown bear. I have a friend who declares picture books for children with artwork like this are wasted on small children, but I'd beg to disagree. I think that it's wonderful to be able to provide your child with a range of artistic styles to enjoy and appreciate. There's a place for the Gruffalo style, or Richard Scarry, but I think there's also a place for these books that are made of beautiful paintings.
So, from seeing a brown bear investigating a small teddy bear we dive straight into the story, which is less of a story in that there is no plot, and more of a lovely wander through the world of bears. We meet eight different kinds of bear through the book, from a brown bear who is catching fish in the river to a sloth bear carrying her cubs on her back and a polar bear hunting for seals. Each page has a beautiful, two page spread illustration of the type of bear in question and the pictures are wonderfully realistic. It's almost like a non fiction book because the images are so close to the bears in real life and, in fact, there is a section at the end of the book that details facts about each of the bears depicted in the book.
Along with each picture is a brief paragraph, telling us a little about the bear such as where it is from, what it likes to eat or what it might get up to during the day. I personally like the Moon Bear, partly because I'd never heard of a moon bear before but also because she has such a wonderful, happy-looking face. Some of the lines of text are less like a story and more like poetry, for example on the polar bear page we read Skin black, hollow fur, warm bear in a world of ice.
I like to share a book like this, that escapes from the silly, funny rhymes and primary colours. I think it's a lovely book for bedtimes, because of the rhythm of the words and the lovely pictures to gaze at. The book finishes by saying that of all the bears in the world, the very best bear is, of course, your bear. Which I'd heartily agree with since I still have my poor, falling-apart, 39 year old teddy bear! A lovely book for quiet story times with slightly older toddlers and those in Key Stage one.
You might also enjoy reading The Beginner's Guide to Bears by Gillian Shields and Sebastien Braun or One True Bear by Ted Dewan
You can read more book reviews or buy Something About a Bear by Jackie Morris at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Something About a Bear by Jackie Morris at Amazon.com.
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