|I know a bear|
Author: Ruiz Johnson, Mariana
Each time a girl visits a bear in a zoo, she listens to his tales of the vast and wondrous Land of the Bears, his home that he will never see again.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.00
Points: .5 Quiz: 169454
Kirkus Reviews (-) (09/01/14)
School Library Journal (07/01/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/15/2014 Is caging animals for mankind’s entertainment or education a humane practice? That is the question presented in this understated picture book certain to be the impetus for serious discussion. Simple, straightforward text and subdued illustrations in black, gray, and green reveal a small blond child (the gender is nonspecific) who describes visits to the black bear’s cage at the local zoo. Then the bear reminisces about “the land of bears,” where the creatures are free to roam, climb trees for honey, swim in rivers, and hibernate over the winter. Both the child and bear understand that the animal can never return to that life, and its captivity causes the sympathetic youngster to acknowledge the plight of her family’s caged pet bird at home. A powerful tale gently told that introduces a concept many children may not have examined but undeniably will begin to contemplate. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2014 PreS-Gr 2—Soft, whimsical narrative voicing distinguishes this Argentine debut, originally published in France in 2011. The book is akin in illustration style to Jon Klassen's work with its soft tones and gentle charcoal lines and shading, and in poetic tone to Margaret Wise Brown (or more recently to Julie Fogliano). A child recounts the story of a bear that now lives in a zoo but is "From the Land of the Bears/A place both vast and wondrous." The large animal shares his memories of home: "The rivers are like bathtubs./Naps last for months and months./This is what he tells me." Then the tale turns woebegone when the creature pronounces that he cannot go back to the Land of the Bears. The narrator of unknown gender listens, tells, and applies what is learned, enacting a brave act of healing—all because of the reflective thinking required by sharing Bear's story. Very succinct in delivery, but with a profound message of empathy and the power of memory and place. Pair with Peter Brown's Mr. Tiger Goes Wild (Little, Brown, 2013) to get a conversation started about our needs, and those of all animals, for both freedom and for a home.—Sara Lissa Paulson, The American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York City - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.