Backyard Bear

Overview

Bears belong in the woods—they can find everything they need to survive there. But what happens when people start knocking down trees and building houses where the woods used to be? This young black bear is about to find out. He wakes one spring to find his territory completely changed. When the curious bear dares to come closer and closer to the houses, he discovers backyards and trashcans are an easy place to find food. But it's dangerous for people and bears to live so close together. What will happen when the...

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Overview

Bears belong in the woods—they can find everything they need to survive there. But what happens when people start knocking down trees and building houses where the woods used to be? This young black bear is about to find out. He wakes one spring to find his territory completely changed. When the curious bear dares to come closer and closer to the houses, he discovers backyards and trashcans are an easy place to find food. But it's dangerous for people and bears to live so close together. What will happen when the bear is discovered right in someone's backyard?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Danielle Williams
A baby bear is born in the winter and stays close to his hibernating mother until she wakes in the spring. That spring and summer, the mother bear teaches the cub how to find food and climb trees. But when they wake the next spring, the woods are gone and houses are being built. When the mother bear leaves, the cub doesn't know what to do, but the houses offer easy-to-find food and the bear happily scavenges through garbage cans and beneath picnic tables until two game wardens come to take him to a new wood where he can live in the wild again. This simple story shows how quickly wild habitats can change and how dangerous it can be for humans and animals when wild animals' homes are encroached upon by new development. It is important to understand that the animals are simply reacting to new situations the only way they know how. While it is not healthy or safe for the cub to eat from the garbage, when their source of food is gone, they will persist in finding food any way they can. The author's note at the end of the text explains how dangerous wild bears can be and how important it is to take proper precautions when faced with a wild bear. The author also provides tips on how to prevent bears from finding food left out for pets or tossed out in garbage cans.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-After a cub's mother leaves him to fend for himself, he ventures away from his forest home and close to neighborhoods and people. While the young bear is initially fearful of humans, he soon realizes that tasty items await him in backyards. One autumn afternoon, a family contacts the game warden, and the animal is soon safely trapped and returned to the forest, where he can continue his life as a wild bear. An author's note offers details about black bears and ideas for keeping backyards less tempting. A good read-aloud for the kindergarten crew, Rockwell's text is simple and straightforward enough for beginning readers. The pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations on toned paper are lovely. This combination of fiction and fact is most appealing.-Andrea Tarr, Corona Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The team's latest collaboration summarizes habitat encroachment and animal relocation for the youngest readers through the story of one small black bear, from his birth to his learning to survive in the wild. When he emerges in the spring, his forest is a changed place. Scared of the new houses at first, he soon discovers that yards are fertile hunting grounds. But when a mother and child spot him, game wardens arrive, trap him and take him to a new forest. Rockwell sweetly introduces readers to the life of a bear: what they eat, how they communicate, what they might be feeling. Young readers will find nothing scary here; the dangers to humans are not enumerated, nor are the problems with relocating bears addressed. An author's note tells more about black bears, their increasingly frequent sightings and how to keep them out of yards. Halsey uses soft, natural colors of watercolor and ink on tan background paper to evoke a woodsy feel. Her teddy bear-ish depiction of the bears perfectly suits the mood of the text. A good springboard to further research and discussions of habitat loss and animal relocation efforts. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802795731
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 10/3/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 511,357
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.36 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Rockwell has been aware of the conflict between human and wildlife habitat since a family of whitetail deer settled right outside her studio window. Flying squirrels have also found their way inside, and an inquisitive woodchuck sometimes peers into Anne's windows to see what she's up to. So far there are no bears, but who knows? And she doesn't even live in a forest, but in suburban Greenwich, Connecticut. Anne is the beloved author of countless books for young readers. Visit her Web site at www.annerockwell.com.

Megan Halsey has been illustrating children's books for more than seventeen years.

Backyard Bear is her fortieth book and her eighth collaboration with Anne Rockwell. She is also an editorial illustrator, creating art for ad agencies, magazines, and book jackets. Megan teaches children's book design and illustration in Marywood University's graduate degree program. She lives in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Marty. Visit her Web site at www.meganhalseyart.com.

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