THE HUGGING BEARS
by Carol Butcher
Austin Macauley Publishers
The Hugging Bears is the story of two bear cubs, Ruggley and Teddi, who live with their mother in the wintry wilderness. A sudden and violent encounter with humankind changes the cubs' lives forever. The book also has an important message about human's often unkind treatment of wild animals.
This is definitely a book for kids interested in bears, forests and all the things which could happen to animals. http://www.austinmacauley.com/content/hugging-bears
We start out with Ruggley and Teddi just awakening in the cave with their mother. It's a beautiful picture, two bear cubs discovering life. The author's love for the bears is obvious not only in the descriptions but also in the lovely illustrations. There's a calming feel to those first moments, and children are immediately drawn into a natural world.
This isn't a fast-paced book but takes the time to let the bears lives unfold, their wonder and experiences in the forest around them. When life suddenly changes for the two bears, it's also handle with much care...my eight year old daughter had to ask what happened to the mother, since it wasn't clear to her. And although I'd say it should have been clearer in the story, this also does give parents the opportunity to discuss a difficult topic (a mother's death) with their children.
The illustrations are lovely and come from the heart. Unfortunately, the artwork doesn't accompany every phase of the story, leaving a few pages only in text. There is quite a bit of text anyway to qualify this as a pure picture book, so I'd recommend it for a slightly older audience--at least, ages 4+. Even then, the print is on the small side for a childrens' book, making it difficult to read.
If you're looking for a fun, adventure book about bears, this won't be it. This story takes a more natural dive into a bear's life, shows what can happen when tragedy strikes (in a fairly realistic way) and has a heart-filled ending which will make the reader smile. I see this as a great book for parents, and especially grandparents, to read-aloud to their kids.
And here she is. . .
Carol Butcher wants to share a message about human's often unkind treatment of wild animals. The profits from this book will go the charity, Happy Child International, which supports the street children of Brazil.
All information and images that I have provided you with are owned by the author/publishing company and are fine for you to use. If there’s anything else you need, then please let me know! I look forward to reading the review when it’s posted on Monday 23rd November.
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