Jun 22, 2010

The Young Grizzly

by Paige Dixon

A nice enough book that tells the story of a grizzly bear's first three years of life. The young bear lives first with his mother's protection, following her around to forage for food, learning to fish, playing with his sibling. Halfway through his second year the mother bear leaves her cubs to start a new family and after their initial confusion the two yearlings gain in confidence and den together for their second winter. The following summer the siblings drift apart, until our main bear is finally living on his own. The story is mainly just about the bears' daily lives, experiences with the weather and encounters with other wildlife. There's also a subplot of two men who habitually tramp through the woods- a father who loves to hunt and shoot bears, and his son who likes the bears alive and tries to convince his dad not to kill them. When the father gets overeager to go after an older grizzly no matter what the risks, it does not end well. While it's interesting enough in showing how bears live, the story itself is not very compelling, and the descriptions rather plain. The illustrations are poor. One shows two bears and at first glance, one looked to me like a giant hamster, the other rather like a pig! The nicest drawing showed a bear's face with some flowers, and I wonder why they didn't choose it for the cover (it's better than the one on the dustjacket, shown here). Another drawing is downright inaccurate- the story mentions a moose, but the picture shows a caribou. I did learn a few things from the book, such as that groundhogs (also called woodchuck) can climb trees! (Apparently, so can dogs). Well, it was an okay read but not a book I'll be keeping.

I acquired this one free, at the Book Thing. Picked it up for the Random Reading Challenge, random.org gave me #11 off the shelf.

Rating: 2/5 ........ 106 pages, 1974

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This was the first book I ever read as a child. To a childs mind this was a wonderful book.
Now that I am an adult I see the flaws in the story, but it started my love affair with the written word.

Jeane said...

I can see how a kid would enjoy this book, and it certainly teaches a lot about how bears live. I probably would have loved it myself as a child, but approaching it as an adult I'm a bit too critical.