Swinburne blends first-person narratives of his own fascinating and wide-ranging encounters with bears with those who study and care for them, along with pages of noteworthy "black bear facts." Did you know that black bears are found only in North America? That bears-which may or may not be literally hibernating, depending on which school of experts you consult-go through the winter without eating, defecating, or urinating? That cars on Pennsylvania's roads alone kill three hundred bears each year? That fifty years ago parents visiting Yellowstone would smear their children with honey and jelly so greedy bears could be photographed licking it off? The four main chapters of the book feature Swinburne's visit with a team of bear biologists to study bear cubs in the their den in the wild, the history of bear feeding (and current prohibitions thereof) at national parks, a portrait of a man who is a devoted foster parent to orphaned bears, and detailed information for readers on how to observe bear claw marks, bear scats, bear tracks, and other evidence of bears in their world. Illustrated with appealing photographs throughout, and including a brief bibliography and index, this offers delightful recreational reading for budding naturalists, as well as plenty of information to enrich and enliven a school report on bears. 2003, Boyds Mills, Ages 8 to 12.
Gr 3-5-Stunning, full-color photos and a lively text make for an intriguing introduction to these fascinating animals. Swinburne traveled to several locales to observe biologists at work, including a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in New Hampshire who has mentored orphaned cubs for 10 years. Another chapter provides historical perspective by relating how human encounters with bears were once the norm at Yellowstone National Park. Using helpful photos, the final chapter illustrates the signs these animals leave behind in the woods. The readable text offers observations about bear behavior, often addressing common misconceptions. Fact boxes present additional information, such as the controversy about hibernation versus semi-hibernation and a look at tracking individual animals. The combination of full-color photos, some taken of Swinburne's observations, and the historical photographs from National and Yellowstone Park Service archives, expands the reading experience. A range map of North America is also included. Written to enlighten children's knowledge of the black bear's world and that of those who study and help wildlife, this book is well researched and well delivered.-Nancy Call, Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Aptos, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Black bears roam North America from Maine to California, with populations estimated at 750,000; increasingly they are invading urban areas. In this glossy photo essay, the author describes his own encounters with black bears and interviews bear specialists, including a Pennsylvania bear biologist and a licensed wildlife rehabilitation specialist in New Hampshire who raises orphaned bear cubs. One chapter recounts a history of bears in Yellowstone National Park where feeding bears became a dangerous popular pastime. While the author’s enthusiasm is evident, the chapters do not form a cohesive whole. The colorful photos of the author cuddling bear cubs may give young naturalists the impression that bears are harmless wild neighbors. They aren’t. As black bears expand their range, invading urban neighborhoods, young naturalists should be cautioned to give them a wide berth. Includes further reading, Web sites, and a brief index. (Nonfiction. 7-10)