CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 19 . . . . May 11, 2007
It seems simple in essence: mother bear shows her cubs the world: how to eat, hunt, fight and survive. But it is that simplicity, so beautifully told and illustrated, that gives this story its strength. Old mother bear teaches her cubs everything she knows about how to survive and fight. Soon the cubs go out on their own, their mother’s knowledge giving them all the tools they need. And now the old brown bear is alone on her mountain, still feeding but every day gets just that little bit harder, and that little bit more tiring.
Victoria Miles’ words are powerful and well chosen. She manages to evoke emotion even if there is only action being described. The seasons almost turn into their own characters. At first, I thought there were too many words, but they are so artfully and appropriately used.
Molly Bang’s illustrations are spectacular. The colors evoke vitality. The illustrations are created with oil paint and chalk which creates a wonderfully rich texture. The backgrounds and bears mean that green and brown are very frequent colors, but the texture prevents them looking tired. The illustration and text create a delightful symphony of emotion and color and tell a simple but powerful story of an old brown bear and her last litter.
Laura Dodwell-Groves is a Master of Children’’s Literature student at the University of British Columbia.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.