The Bear and her Book: There’s More to See
Frances Tosdevin and Sophia O’Connor
The big brown ursine bibliophile with an enormous heart returns and despite being snuggled up cosily one warm winter’s night, she feels that urge to explore. It’s prompted by a white, book-less bear looking lonely and downhearted in a picture in her Book of Being Wise. She packs her book and sallies forth, first aboard a fishing boat and then an ice floe. Soon she encounters a kindly whale who points her in the right direction but mentions a blocked up spout. Fortunately Bear’s book has the remedy and having helped the whale, receiving a “Yay” … “my blowhole’s mended. Thank you so much, my spouting’s splendid!” off she goes again.
On land as she walks across the snowy Arctic terrain, Bear meets first a moose and then a muskox, both of whom she helps, as is her way;
and then again repeating the words, “I’m a curious bear who must explore / The world is big and there’s more to see, / And I’ll find this bear who is not like me.” she proceeds on her way, eventually stumbling into an icy sleep.
On waking she repeats her refrain once more and there before her stands the object of her search, sobbing gently and speaking of wanting “A great big book – with lots of pages”.
I suspect readers can guess what happens next, but perhaps not how this tale of friendship concludes …
Despite the chilly setting of most of this rhyming story, Sophia O’Connor’s illustrations give you a warm glow inside as you read Frances Tosdevin’s lyrical narrative of the tender-hearted Bear with a desire to do good. I hope to see lots more of this character and her passion for exploration.