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OLD MOTHER BEAR by Victoria Miles Kirkus Star


by Victoria Miles & illustrated by Molly Bang

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: April 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-8118-5033-1
Publisher: Chronicle

In the last three years of her life, old mother bear births a final litter, leads them up and down the mountain and through the seasons until they are old enough to go out on their own and then quietly retires to a den to die. Beginning with digging a winter den, the straightforward, scientifically informative narrative goes on to describe the bear nursing and training her cubs, feeding, marking her territory, a scary encounter with a male grizzly and the family’s hibernation together before the young have reached maturity. Bang’s lush textured illustrations in oils and chalk sometimes show just parts of the grizzly in a double-page spread, giving an idea of her size. Other pages reveal the bear in a square against a backdrop of the mountainside in the changing seasons. Heavy paper stock beautifully reproduces the paintings and will stand up to repeated use. An afterword adds further facts about grizzlies and the sanctuary in British Columbia where scientists follow their behavior. A beautiful introduction to these awesome animals. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-9)