Big Jinny: The Story of a Grizzly Bear

Overview

"Bears are commonly misquoted." That’s what Frank B. Linderman concluded after spending most of his life in the wild. In Big Jinny Linderman lets a little grizzly cub speak for herself, and Jinny has plenty to say. This is Jinny’s story about growing up in the Montana wilderness, where every day promises adventure, mischief—and danger. She and her brother cub, Jim, learn from their mother about eating, playing, avoiding certain animals—and, most important of all, minding their own business. But when Jinny ...
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Overview

"Bears are commonly misquoted." That’s what Frank B. Linderman concluded after spending most of his life in the wild. In Big Jinny Linderman lets a little grizzly cub speak for herself, and Jinny has plenty to say. This is Jinny’s story about growing up in the Montana wilderness, where every day promises adventure, mischief—and danger. She and her brother cub, Jim, learn from their mother about eating, playing, avoiding certain animals—and, most important of all, minding their own business. But when Jinny wakes up from her first hibernation, curiosity tempts her to ignore this most important lesson and travel far from home, minding everybody else’s business while learning a few new lessons about what it is to be a grizzly bear. Big Jinny’s story, steeped in nature lore and illustrated with Elizabeth Lochrie’s lush watercolors, leads readers young and old on an enchanting adventure through the wilds of western America even as they learn, with Jinny, how grizzlies really live.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The story of this grizzly bear was written back in 1934 by a man who spent most of his life in the Montana wilderness. Both in 1934 and 1937, for various reasons, the story was rejected by publishers. What a pity! I found the rendition of the grizzly cub's early life—from her perspective—quite informative and at times humorous. She sure gets cuffed by her mother quite a few times for misbehaving. When Jenny grows into an adult and is on her own, you see how she blossoms and develops her own personality and lifestyle. Mr. Linderman's granddaughter, Sarah Waller Hatfield, has presented us with this fascinating story of the habits of grizzly bears for us to learn and to appreciate—70 years after her grandfather wrote it. 2005, University of Nebraska Press, Ages 10 to 13.
—Leila Toledo
KLIATT
Jinny, admittedly acting differently from normal grizzly bears by being outgoing and sociable, relates the story of her life from the time of her birth until the birth of her first cubs. Jinny's mother, her brother, and a number of other forest animals factor into the adventures and misadventures of the plot. The intent to increase the appreciation of the "forest folk" on the part of the reader may or may not justify its extreme anthropomorphism. While this makes for an entertaining read, it may also clutter the purely scientific knowledge of the animals in question. Most of us, however, have fond memories of these types of stories and they've generally had a positive influence. The author, who spent most of his life in the mountains of western Montana, wrote to educate his readers about the habits and behaviors of the forest creatures. As explained in the afterword, this story was published posthumously by the author's granddaughter; he died in 1938. The book is illustrated with some endearing watercolor plates and b/w drawings. It would be a good read-aloud for youngsters not ready to tackle this length of novel on their own. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, Univ. of Nebraska Press, 125p. illus., Ages 12 to 18.
—Ann Hart
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803280441
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 125
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.94 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank B. Linderman (1869–1938) is the highly acclaimed author of many books, including Indian Why Stories and Old Man Coyote, both available in Bison Books editions. Elizabeth Lochrie (1890–1981) specialized in Native American portraits and created murals for hospitals and public buildings, including eighteen children’s murals for the Montana State Hospital. Sarah Waller Hatfield is the granddaughter of Linderman.
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