A nature photographer shares his images of young bearhood in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Appropriately, McAllister’s name comes first on the cover and title page. The heart of this album is his photography: two beautiful landscapes showing the pristine Great Bear Rainforest bookend many, many close-ups of bears. There are grizzly bears, black bears, and the one-in-10 black bear with white fur that is called a spirit bear. Aimed at young readers and listeners, the simple text focuses on the lives of bear cubs and their parents, finding food—plant shoots and berries, barnacles and other seashore treats, salmon—napping, exploring, and playing. Most spreads include a full-page photo (or one crossing the fold) and one or two smaller ones plus a paragraph or two. There’s no attempt to explain the location of this pristine coastal wilderness in British Columbia, which the author and photographer have described in such books for older readers as The Salmon Bears (2010) and other titles. There is, though, a nod to the indigenous human inhabitants with a summary of the Raven tale explaining the existence of the white bears. There’s also an intriguing description of bear fishing styles: grabbing, scooping, pinning, crushing.
An appropriate companion to Wolf Island (2017) to nourish the sense of wonder. (Informational picture book. 5-8)