My Favorite Bear
Andrea Gabriel, author & illustrator
Andrea Gabriel lives with her cat Jasper in Seattle, Washington, where she can often be found lurking in coffee shops on rainy afternoons. Much of her time is spent drawing, writing, or talking with schoolchildren, but she also loves visiting with friends and family or hiking in the Cascades. She hopes one day to through-hike the Pacific Crest Trail.
Read more about Andrea.
- Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year
School Library Journal
A mother bear tells her cub about all the kinds of bears there are in the world as she cuddles her baby to sleep. Large, naturalistic pictures done in soft-focus pastel depict a variety of bears eating, exploring, and lying around. Most of the illustrations are given lush two-page spreads that highlight the creatures' personalities and habitats. The brief text rhymes, though it doesn't always flow smoothly. Still, parents will enjoy curling up with their own children and teddy bears, and exploring the story together, which concludes with the cub fast asleep and well loved. A page at the back of the book gives some brief information about the different species featured in the story.
This begins with a mother bear tucking her cub in for the night as she sings a lullaby about bear life. Her song ("Some bears eat fish./ Some like bamboo./ Some bears hunt by the light of the moon.") gives basic facts about bears, but it's Gabriel's realistic artwork that brings these facts to life. She shows brown bears catching fish out of the river, giant pandas feasting in a bamboo forest, and a polar bear walking across the frozen landscape. In the end, mother bear's favorite bear is, of course, her own "sleepy cub." A page of bear facts rounds things out. A taste of natural history for very young children to ponder.
My Favorite Bear, for children ages 3-7, highlights through color illustrations and descriptive phrases the many characteristics most bears share. In addition, the 32-page book introduces some extraordinary facets of bear life. The book also contains a bear fact sheet.
National Wildlife Federation's Kidzone
My Favorite Bear is a great exploration of bear diversity. Mom bear sends her cub to sleep with descriptions of what other bears do in their habitats. The narrative is simple, yet it covers a whole world of bears. For the child who wants to know more, there is a page of bear facts at the end.
Page count: 32
8 1/2 x 11