cover image Bear


John Schoenherr. Philomel Books, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22177-4

Inspired by a trip to Alaska, Caldecott Medalist Schoenherr ( Owl Moon ) brings his brush to the vast, sweeping landscapes of the Arctic tundra. He spins a simple tale of a bear who wakes to find that his mother has left him, and is suddenly forced to fend for himself. There are many misadventures on the trail to independence--the young bear is chased by a moose, bitten on the nose by a lemming and frustrated in his attempts to catch the bright scarlet salmon thronging an icy river. By the end of the book, however, the bear is older, wiser and ready for anything. Schoenherr's masterful illustrations are imbued with the subtle browns and grays of the barren panorama, and his story is a deft parable any growing child can readily sympathize with. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)