Today we're featuring Bear-ly There by Rebekah Raye on Picture Book Thursday.
Raye has written a wonderful story with a great message about enjoying nature but not interfering with it.
Bear-ly There tells the story of a curious bear just awake from hibernating all winter long. He begins to forage and discovers that bird seed and grain found in human backyards provide quite a tasty treat. While he seems to leave animals alone, he creates quite a mess all over the neighborhood. Charlie and his family are afraid the bear will go after their pet geese. Other neighbors want to call animal control or shoot the bear themselves. While Charlie does not like the bear visiting his yard, he does some research and learns that there are things people can do to keep the bear from wanting to come into their yards. Charlie is more concerned about the bear staying in his natural habitat in the woods and finding his food there.
Charlie posts his newfound knowledge in town for all his neighbors to see. Eventually, the bear decides it is more interesting to stay in the woods. Every now and then Charlie still gets a glimpse of the bear just on the edge of the woods. But the bear always stays where he belongs.
I really like the message in this book. I like that instead of taking an active approach to getting rid of the bear like many of the adults in the neighborhood wanted, it was much better for the bear if the humans just took steps to direct him back to his home in the woods. Such a nice, gentle approach to the problem. And I like that Raye is showing a child can learn this information and pass it on to adults.
Raye also illustrates this book with wonderfully artistic drawings. As I always seem to say about Tilbury House books, the artwork is so great! The images are so much more realistic and artistic from many children's picture books which feature cartoon-ish images (not that I don't like those too). It's refreshing to have some more realistic images sometimes.
About the Author:
Rebekah Raye is an artist beloved for her bird and animal paintings and sculpture. Her warm, expressive work is derived from her affinity with the natural world around her at her studio and home in East Blue Hill, Maine (where she had a bear visitor not too long ago). She illustrated Thanks to the Animals by Allen Sockabasin and is the author and illustrator of The Very Best Bed. Rebekah shares her skills and her love of art in workshops for adults and children and makes frequent school visits. You can learn more about Rebekah at www.rebekahraye.com.
This post is part of the Bear-ly There book blog tour! And you can read more about the book at Nature Moms tomorrow!
The author has graciously offered to contribute some of her beautiful wildlife artwork (see samples of her work here), in addition to the signed books Tilbury House will be giving away. So the publisher will be giving out a total of 10 fantastic prizes during the tour!
Blog Comment Prizes
Tilbury House will draw 9 lucky winners from all of those who leave comments on the participating tour posts from (October 16-30) to win one of the following prizes:
- A set of four art cards (2 sets available)
- A signed wildlife art print
- An original sketch from Bear-ly There
- An original sketch from The Very Best Bed
- An original sketch from Thanks to the Animals
- A copy of Bear-ly There, The Very Best Bed, or Thanks to the Animals, signed by Rebekah Raye
Winners will be announced on Oct. 31, US/Canada addresses only, please.
Everyone that participates in the Twitter Book Party, and/or posts anything about the tour using the hashtag #BearlyThere from October 15-30 will be entered to win a complete set of Bear-ly There, Thanks to the Animals, and The Very Best Bed, all signed by Rebekah Raye. Winners will be announced on Oct. 31, US/Canada addresses only, please.
So again, this contest is through the publisher, not this blog. Please leave comments here to be entered. And the publisher is will announce (or contact you) if you are a winner.
Source disclosure: I received a galley copy of Bear-ly There from Sarah at Tilbury House to review as part of the book tour.