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by Sandra Markle & illustrated by Sandra Markle

Pub Date: April 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-689-81888-2
Publisher: Atheneum

Another exceptional title by the prolific science writer best known for her Outside and Inside series, this one describes the life cycle and growth of bears: brown, black, grizzly and polar. The handsome layout and full color photographs will have enthusiasts for the species swooning. From the front cover illustration of two cuddly polar bear cubs, white against a blue sky (except for black noses and eyes), to the final photo of mama brown bear and her cub intently fishing for salmon, this is a visual delight. Both the author and the book designer should be complimented on a beautiful piece of bookmaking. But, it is not the photographs alone that make this so appealing; information is presented in accessible language with just the right amount of detail. Markle describes how the tiny, blind, day old black bear, born while his mother hibernates; must struggle to find his mother's milk and warmth in order to survive. Polar bear cubs have a different problem: they are born in a snow cave, and must keep close to mom to avoid freezing. As they grow older these bears learn to hunt, following mama across the rough Arctic sea ice. Other sections describe how baby bears escape from enemies, how black bears escape the nuisance of biting flies, and how other bears learn to fish, and forage in summer and winter. Great photos, great bears! (glossary, author’s note) (Nonfiction. 710)