cover image The Bear on the Moon

The Bear on the Moon

Joanne Ryder. Morrow Junior Books, $16 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08109-6

According to legend, the great white bears at the North Pole once spent all their time swimming in icy waters. Not until one adventurous bear swims to ``the place the sea touched the sky'' does everything change. All the way to the moon, this bear climbs a stairway of light; there, she starts breaking off pieces of rock and ice and throwing down the chunks, creating land masses in the sea below. This diminishes the size of the moon until it is a sliver and finally disappears altogether. The bear is sad to see the moon gone, but pleased at the many changes in the environment. Although Ryder's ( Chipmunk Song ) story rambles a bit--and might be confusing for readers at the young end of the age range--her fantasy is generally engaging. Lacey's debut picture book art features striking, realistic bears and haunting glimpses of their barren world. Ages 6-up. (Aug.)