Young readers meet the eight bear species.
With its heavy paper, thick front and back boards, and a front cover featuring a cutout in the shape of a bear, this book is designed to attract (and stand up to) young readers. The text first lists a child-understandable bear trait (“They love to snack”) and then expands on it to explain, for example, that bears eat all kinds of food. Clulow’s double-page–spread, full-color, diorama-like digital artwork illustrates each trait by showing a particular species of bear in its habitat with accurate flora and fauna. In the case of snacking, a group of sun bears is shown fishing, gobbling berries, and raiding beehives. The bears, as well as some flora, fauna, and habitat elements, are identified with labels near them, adding to the information, although some seem obvious (“clouds,” “hillside,” “rain”). Unfortunately, all the animals are given enlarged, white-rimmed eyes—an unnecessary cartoony look that jars in an otherwise thoughtful presentation. Red medallions headed “Show you love a bear” offer information (in a tiny font) about not feeding bears, climate change’s impacts, and encouragement to do further research, among others. Published simultaneously with the same author and illustrator, and following the same format, is 10 Reasons to Love a Whale, which concentrates solely—and successfully—on the blue whale (although it has the same cutesy-eye problem).
An entry-level ecology book that succeeds in imparting child-accessible information. (Informational picture book. 3-6)