The Ice Bear by Jackie Morris
|The Ice Bear by Jackie Morris|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Anne Thompson|
|Summary: A stunning and stylishly presented picture book. This story has a mythical quality that may appeal to the slightly older reader.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 40||Date: April 2014|
|Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Long, long ago in the mists of time in an icy and barren landscape a bear gives birth to two cubs. While curled up close together the raven tricks the bear and steals one of the cubs away. The mother bear grieves and never forgets her loss. However the raven drops the bundle in the path of a hunter and he and his wife discover a longed for child. Seven years pass and the child wanders from his home and finds himself back in the land of the bears. He loves both families and both families love him so they must find a way to resolve this dilemma and learn to live together in harmony.
The illustrations in this picture book are simply stunning. The cover with the close up of the bear’s solemn face invites the reader to pick up the book and browse. In fact, it works as a piece of art in addition to a work of fiction. I found myself poring over the almost mesmerising pictures before I read the text and I watched other adults do the same. The story feels in many ways like a traditional tale or myth and although I don’t know of such a story perhaps this beautiful book was inspired by an older tale. However it is the illustrations that make this book stand out. They are bold and painted in a monochrome with an occasional splash of colour and this emphasises the isolated nature of the landscape.
My only difficulty is that I found it difficult to judge who would be the ideal audience for this book. The level of the text and the concept would, I think, make this too difficult for very young children to cope with but it would make a lovely gift for a slightly older child who may enjoy the almost magical quality of the story. It would also work very well in schools as a prompt for discussion about the role of man in protecting and caring for our planet and sharing it successfully with animals. I also found it a story that I enjoyed more with each re-reading so will be fascinated to see how this one goes down in our school library.
Bookbag also loved another beautiful picture book by Jackie Morris - Song of the Golden Hare. If you would like to share a book about a bear with younger children you may like The Bear in the Cave by Michael Rosen and Adrian Reynolds
You can read more book reviews or buy The Ice Bear by Jackie Morris at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Ice Bear by Jackie Morris at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.