The Island and the Bear
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‘One morning, on a quiet island in the Scottish Hebrides, a bear appeared from nowhere. A bear who needed to find his way home.’ Inspired by a true story from the Scottish Hebrides, this book entrances, right from the first glimpse of the cover. Showing a brown bear, standing beside rocks at the edge of the sea, he is looking directly at the reader. Begin the tale, and we are faced with a desolate charcoaled view of an island with a scattered population of crofts. ‘Bear! Just suddenly there, filling the air with bear. He was as brown as the earth and as big as a tree and when he shook, gulls rose from the sea.’. The sounds of the bear’s hungry voice ‘made the sea run out and the wind blow backwards with fright.’ He terrified the gulls, sheep and the people, who fled, or locked themselves away indoors. Full of awe and wonder, in magical, poetical language, bear is found, befriended by a small crofter girl, and eventually returned to the owners who were searching for him. ‘The islanders watched in fading light as the bear grew small and smaller into the night. Suddenly the island felt huge with goodbye.’ A truly delightful book, one to share with anyone who will appreciated the sparse but beautiful use of language, combined with dramatic but heartfelt illustrations.