THE WOMAN WHO MARRIED A BEAR by Elizabeth James

THE WOMAN WHO MARRIED A BEAR

adapted by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 10
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KIRKUS REVIEW

An arrogant girl disrespects the animal world and becomes part of it in this traditional First Nations tale, retold by James. After showing her disdain for bears, the unnamed protagonist encounters the nephew of the Chief of the Bear People, a group of human-bear shapeshifters. Forced into marriage with him, she contents herself with her new life, although her brothers’ search for her threatens this fragile relationship. Seeking shelter from them in a cave, the young woman gives birth to twins sharing human and animal characteristics. Although her husband has been kind, when she sees her brothers she alerts them, and her husband must sacrifice himself to avert a bloody confrontation. Never fully adapting back to her human surroundings, the woman and her children instead transform into bears, free to roam. Despite a few narrative stumbles, this is a memorable examination of the interdependence between humans and their environment. Atanas’s illustrations are strongest when the raw Pacific landscape spreads across the page, celebrating sky, land and sea. (author’s note) (Picture book/folktale. 6-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-894965-49-1
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Simply Read
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2008




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