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BACKYARD BEAR by Anne Rockwell


by Anne Rockwell & illustrated by Megan Halsey

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-8027-9573-0
Publisher: Walker

The team’s latest collaboration summarizes habitat encroachment and animal relocation for the youngest readers through the story of one small black bear, from his birth to his learning to survive in the wild. When he emerges in the spring, his forest is a changed place. Scared of the new houses at first, he soon discovers that yards are fertile hunting grounds. But when a mother and child spot him, game wardens arrive, trap him and take him to a new forest. Rockwell sweetly introduces readers to the life of a bear: what they eat, how they communicate, what they might be feeling. Young readers will find nothing scary here; the dangers to humans are not enumerated, nor are the problems with relocating bears addressed. An author’s note tells more about black bears, their increasingly frequent sightings and how to keep them out of yards. Halsey uses soft, natural colors of watercolor and ink on tan background paper to evoke a woodsy feel. Her teddy bear-ish depiction of the bears perfectly suits the mood of the text. A good springboard to further research and discussions of habitat loss and animal relocation efforts. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)