Bursting with engaging facts about the world’s bear families, from the petite Sun Bears of South East Asia to the rather more substantial Polar Bears of the Arctic, this warm-hearted information book takes a creative approach and will please children who usually prefer stories as well as those who opt for non-fiction.
Throughout this charmingly-illustrated book, representatives of the eight families chat about their likes and dislikes, and size comparison charts sit alongside informative panels about the bears’ homes and habits. Five themed spreads depicting the bears involved in collaborative activities including swimming and climbing help readers focus on similarities and differences between the families – on the athletics track, for example, Brown Bear is finishing the race before Panda has so much as broken into a trot, and all eight bears are tucking into very different meals around a check-clothed bistro table.
Individual bears also take part in anthropomorphic pursuits, such as fishing with a rod and line, and contribute to the discussion: ‘we bears don’t all live in one place,’ observes the Brown Bear, obligingly. ‘We just got together today to help make this book.’ Occasionally this blurs the line between fact and fiction (with the potential to confuse younger or more imaginative readers) but overall Viggers’ approach is spot-on for maximum engagement. There’s much fun to be had with this book, and lots of learning opportunities, too.