Review Blog

Jun 27 2012

The very hungry bear by Nick Bland

cover image

Scholastic, 2012. ISBN 9781742831701.
(Age: Preschool - 7) Recommended. Environment. The very cranky bear is back and this time he is hungry. He goes on a fishing trip and catches nothing until something huge goes on his hook. It is a large white bear who has an armful of fish and is happy to share if only the very hungry bear would help him find a home.  His iceberg is shrinking and his home is very far away. The very hungry bear is keen to have the fish so off he goes with the polar bear to find a home. His cave is too hot, Mole's hole is cooler but too small, the croc is not helpful, but finally they find him a home on top of a snow covered mountain.
This captivating verse story will delight its young readers. The rhymes make it an ideal book to read aloud, and will also help the emerging reader predict what is coming next. Bold print emphasise words and using these for emphasis when reading aloud will make the story even more appealing. In a very subtle way, Nick Bland is pointing out what happens to animals when their habitat is destroyed. In this case the polar bear's iceberg has melted and he has no way to get home. This could lead to an interesting discussion about why the polar ice is melting and whether anything can be done about it.
Bland draws great expressions on the face of his very hungry bear. There is no doubt of what he is feeling when he is grumpy - the frown on his face leaves no doubt about that. The smile on the face of the polar bear shows his willingness to be friendly and cooperative without the need for words to describe this character trait. And the face of the croc, busily gulping down Polar Bear's fish and eyeing him evilly, leaves the reader is no doubt about the nature of that animal.
This will be a welcome addition for fans who have enjoyed reading about the cranky bear.
Pat Pledger

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