Thursday 9 January 2014

What Now Baby Bears?

What Now Baby Bears? by Toni Brisland, illustrated by Emma Stuart (Little Steps Publishing)
PB RRP $14.95
ISBN 9781921928697
Reviewed by Donna Austin

What Now Baby Bears? follows a mother bear and her two cubs. Initially their life is idyllic, spent frolicking through their pristine environment. However, they wake from hibernation to find humans have come to their paradise. An accident befalls Mother Bear and the bears and the humans must learn to co-exist.

The first half of the book is devoted to the bears' unspoilt wilderness. The accident to Mother Bear is dealt with sensitively though it could come as a bit of a shock to younger readers. To allay any concerns, the recovery of Mother Bear is quick and she is reunited with her cubs. Importantly, though, the book ends with the understanding that life for the bears has changed forever.

Emma Stuart's illustrations complement the story and, in particular, her depictions of the bears enjoying their freedom and pristine environment are heart-warming.

What Now Baby Bears? would be a useful book to discuss with younger children about how humans effect wildlife and how we must all care for the environment.

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