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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Very Hungry Bear, written and illustrated by Nick Bland. Scholastic, 2012. $14.99 ages 3 and up


"Now a fish to a bear
is like a chocolate eclair -
it's INCREDIBLY hard
to resist.
So the thought of a pile
that would last for a while
was an offer too good to be

Life can be very difficult when you come from two totally different parts of the world! When the brown bear and the polar bear meet in unusual circumstances they establish a grateful friendship, bonding over fish:

"A HUNGRY bear is very strong,
so it didn't take him very long
to discover that he'd caught...

"Excuse me," said Bear.
"Do you have fish there?
You are catching all of the fish."

The polar bear does not mean to be selfish...and he is more than willing to share his catch. But, he has a favor to ask. It seems he's in a precarious position atop an iceberg that is quickly shrinking. He'll trade all the fish for a place to stay.

As astute readers will be quick to discern, a brown bear's den is not the most suitable place for a polar bear! The fire is hot and welcoming, but causes a big problem for a bear from the far north whose protective coat and the ice he is holding are both in need a more refrigerated space.

It's too funny to watch as the two try to find a place of comfort for the northern bear. Once the problem is solved, they both can rest easy. The illustrations are full of light and shadow, warmth and cool, and expressive...oh, such expressive faces. The text is rhymed and will afford young readers a chance to test their rhyming ability...always a good thing when they are first learning about reading. Charming and sure to be a hit with Nick Bland fans!

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