Bears Don't Read
written and illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark
2015 (Kane Miller)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Oh, life is lovely, he thought. Tra-la-la and all that! But is this it? he wondered. Is this all there is?
Sitting on a bench, George the bear wondered this about life. His bear peers are happy doing the same thing again and again, but George is bored. Kind of like a bear Truman Show with George in the Jim Carrey role. Fortunately, he found a book in the forest and it changed his life. This book had pictures of bears and lots of words. George knew there was meaning in this book. He was so excited that he shared his find with the other bears. They were completely unimpressed when George said he wanted to learn to read. Telling his bear family to talk to the paw, George left and headed into town to find the owner of the book. He was full of optimism until the townspeople raced away from him in terror. One harried citizen was kind enough to tell George that the book came from the school. He wandered in to find the owner. Surrounded by police immediately, George is rescued a little girl named Clementine who is the owner of the book. What followed was a sweet reminder why we love to read and how empowering it is to learn this skill.
Bears Don't Read has a powerful message. Everyone can read and deserves to read. George represents all of us who have picked up a book and just wanted to be transported to another place. Books do change lives and that's the power of reading. I love the cheery illustrations. George is a sweet brown bear and the illustrations with Clementine are delightful. This would be a great book to share during National Children's Book Week which is May 4-10 this year. Your readers won't (Wait for it. Horrific pun approaching. ) bear to part with this book.