Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Moon Bear by Brenda Z. Guiberson, illustrated by Ed Young

In a simple series of questions and answers, Brenda Guiberson guides the reader through the habits and behavior of moon bears. The story follows a moon bear from waking up after a long hibernation, through foraging, sleeping and back to hibernation, from which she emerges with a special surprise. A brief author's note explains the current plight of the moon bears, shows several pictures of rescued bears, and directs readers to a website where they can learn more or donate.

Ed Young's art is amazing. It begins with patterned endpapers and continues with a wide variety of textures and colors. Blinding reds pepper the pages dominated by the black adn white bear and the dark backgrounds are enlivened with photographs of ants and grass and skies ranging from pastel violets to pale morning peach.

Verdict: This is a perfect read-aloud for toddlers, preschool and kindergarten. The simple, repetitive questions will capture toddlers' interest while older children will enjoy learning about an exotic animal and all ages can pore over the fascinating art. I would have liked to see more resources in the back explaining the moon bear's habits and situation (the website given has very limited information) but while this lack of in-depth information will limit the book's usefulness with older children, it's still a wonderful read-aloud for the pre-school crowd.

ISBN: 0805089772; Published May 2010 by Henry Holt; Review copy provided by publisher; Review copy provided by publisher through Raab Associates

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