Bears Barge In

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Zack, a young boy who lives deep in the forest, discovers the wisdom of leaving space for his furred, feathered, and fanged friends when animals start turning up in odd places. Residential encroachment on wildlife habitat and vice versa is an issue of increasing concern in communities around the country, and this book provides information about keeping adults and children safe. As new construction begins to infringe on former wilderness, people and animals can become uneasy neighbors; this book presents valuable ...
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Overview

Zack, a young boy who lives deep in the forest, discovers the wisdom of leaving space for his furred, feathered, and fanged friends when animals start turning up in odd places. Residential encroachment on wildlife habitat and vice versa is an issue of increasing concern in communities around the country, and this book provides information about keeping adults and children safe. As new construction begins to infringe on former wilderness, people and animals can become uneasy neighbors; this book presents valuable information about how people can coexist peacefully with potentially dangerous wildlife.

Author Biography: Joni Sensel is the author of Traditions Through the Trees and writes about business and environmental subjects for clients such as the Environmental Protection Agency. Chris Bivins is an illustrator whose work has appeared in a variety of business publications and multimedia works, including a booklet for the National Park Service. They both live in Seattle, Washington.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The lesson takes precedence over the telling in this fanciful tale, which decries the effects of urban sprawl. First-time children's book author Sensel opens with young Zack in his house, surrounded by woods and woodland creatures ("There were crickets and cougars and badgers and bears,/ opossums and owls and herons and hares"). After more and more houses are built, leaving less and less land for them to live on, the animals take refuge indoors. The humans all move to a gated community except for Zack, who stays put and lives in harmony with nature ("He lived his life, and they lived theirs"). Sensel's tale is not without wry humor ("Unlike the animals, Zack was quite tame"), but a succession of forced phrases ("And as much as Zack enjoyed chatting with squirrels,/ he'd rather play with boys and girls"; "All that remained was a wee grove of trees./ Beneath them, the animals all tried to squeeze") makes for a strained reading experience. Bivins's (The Perfect Tree) spry, cartoonlike illustrations, with their clean lines, woodsy palette and energetically tilted perspectives, inject a blast of freshness, but ultimately can't hoist this outing above its pedestrian underpinnings. An afterword offers tips on living cheek-by-jowl with wild animals. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) FYI: A portion of the book's proceeds will be donated to the Nature Conservancy. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Sensel's oppressive ecology lesson in rhyme burdens Bivins's winsome cartoon illustrations. When young Zack's neighborhood's expansion diminishes wildlife habitats, forest creatures invade the suburbs. Human residents respond by bringing their homes closer together and getting iron gates, signs, and guards. Zack challenges their presumption of danger by living outside the gates. The verse has mixed success ("Just because they're hairy/doesn't mean they're bad or scary") and lapses in logic, as when the boy lives alone in the wild with no parental protest. Follow-up tips for dealing with wild animals in a neighborhood setting are well considered. The artist's flair for cartoon critters and wacky human characters makes for entertaining portraits, but cannot make up for the story's weaknesses.-Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
Very highly recommended for family, school, and community library children's books collections, Bears Bare In combines picturebook story whimsy with practical, factual information for helping children of all ages to stay safe while experiencing and appreciating nature. Zack is a boy who lives in the forest along with bears and other wild woodland creatures. As Zack's human neighbors multiply, Zack finds bears invading his bathroom! When the neighbors discover that Zack's house guests have fur and fangs, he must find ways to make room for both his old animal friends and his new neighbors. Chris Bivins's vividly colored illustrations are a perfect showcase for Joni Sensel's lively, original, and imaginative story.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780970119506
  • Publisher: Dream Factory Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 12.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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