Rescued and rehabilitated by the Moon Bear Rescue Centre near Chengdu, China, an endangered, abused bear becomes the ambassador for forgiveness and survival in this true story.
Chinese moon bears sport a yellow band across their chests reminiscent of the crescent moon. Captured and imprisoned in small cages on bear farms, moon bears are exploited for bear bile, used in Chinese herbal medicines. When a truckload of rescued bears arrives at the Centre, caregivers notice one extremely thin, injured bear that they name Jasper. Following surgery, Jasper wakes up in a spacious cage where he can sit, stand and stretch. For the first time, he has plenty of food and water and is treated kindly. As he recovers, Jasper explores the indoor bear house and outside enclosure, where caregivers teach him to search for food, use his muscles and play. Eventually, Jasper becomes a “strong, robust, and happy bear,” able to forgive and trust humans. While focusing on Jasper and his rehabilitated spirit, the text alerts readers to Chinese bear farms and the good work Animals Asia has done to rescue and provide sanctuary for moon bears. With photographic realism, the luminous illustrations enhance this moving saga of Jasper’s journey, including amazing close-ups of his expressive face.
Heartening peek at moon bear rescue. (author & illustrator notes) (Informational picture book. 6-10)