Wednesday, December 26, 2012

26th December

It is Boxing Day and I maybe should be thinking about boxes, but having done boxes before for a great display in the library and the box construction club (see I feel inclined to write about something else I have observed lately.

A couple of days ago I bought The Bear with the Sword by David Cali and as I read it and looked at the bear and his behaviour I was reminded of  two other bear picture books I had bought this year,  Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip Stead and Erin Stead and Bear in Love  by Daniel Pinkwater and Will Hillenbrand. How do illustrators make bears have such human expressions? Each bear is different but so imbued with human mannerisms. My favourite bear is the one in Sebastian Meschenmoser's Waiting For Winter. He makes me smile every time I look at him trying to work out what snow is. None of these bears appear to be 'wild' or 'grizzly'. None are bad-tempered or look as if they could do harm, and for someone who lives in a country without bears (except in zoos) it is so hard to remember that we should keep our distance from these animals. They do not look anything like teddybears either so they have become pseudohumans. They are easy to empathise with, so easy to see their point of view, and so easy to fall in love with and want to hug. Look at their eyes!

Here are some of my favourite bears and bear stories and this is without including any of Barbara Firth's for Martin Waddell, Kady MacDonald Denton's for Bonny Becker or Karma Wilson's.

1 comment: