Moon Bear, Who Helps Me Announce a Wee Blog Break

h1 July 27th, 2010 by jules

“Who gulps the fall crops of beechnuts and acorns?
Happy moon bear, gorging on extra food for the winter.”
(Click to enlarge spread.)

Hi, dear readers. I’ve got my work cut out for me this week. I’m coming up on a self-imposed writing deadline, and I’m also preparing for this, a presentation at The University of Tennessee’s Center for Children’s & Young Adult Literature, in which I have one hour to talk about the best picture books thus far of 2010. Can you even try to imagine for one second how I’m having trouble narrowing here, dear people, since I love me my excellent picture books ever so muchly? But I’m having fun, and I think the presentation will be very fun, too. The best part is that I get to hear my former East Tennessee librarian colleagues—who are brilliant and will also be presenting—talk about books for other ages, and I particularly look forward to hearing about YA novels in the afternoon, since I’ve not had as much time for reading those on my own this year. (Good thing I love my picture books, right?)

So, for those reasons, I probably won’t be back here at 7-Imp until Sunday. But I promise to return for some kickin’. In the meantime, I’m leaving you this week with some collage illustrations from the great Ed Young. His latest illustrated title is by Brenda Z. Guiberson, who has been writing and illustrating children’s books for over 15 years. It’s called Moon Bear (Henry Holt, May 2010), a lyrical tribute to the Asiatic black bear, becoming rare in the wild.

This story follows one female moon bear through the seasons (the bears are so named for the white marks on their chests, which look like crescent moons) in the woods, as she wakes from a “long winter snooze,” marks her territory, eats, plays, and snuggles in for another long winter snooze, eventually waking with a surprise for child readers. An author’s note discusses how thousands of these bears spend their lives in cages on bear farms where they are unable to stand or move around. Publishers Weekly notes, “{t}he book’s subtlety—keeping the focus on the bear’s peaceful everyday life, rather than the threats to its existence—is likely to inspire readers’ compassion and concern.” A winner for the youngest of readers.

“Who plucks raspberries and plops red scat in the tangle?
Blissful moon bear, feasting on juicy summer fruit.”
(Click to enlarge spread.)

See you on Sunday, dear folks . . .

* * * * * * *

Illustrations from Moon Bear © 2010 by Brenda Z. Guiberson, illustrations by Ed Young. Used with the permission of Henry Holt Books for Young Readers.

8 comments to “Moon Bear, Who Helps Me Announce a Wee Blog Break”

  1. Based solely on this blog, I feel confident that yes, your presentation will be fun!

    Alas, I just put an episode up on my site that disqualifies it forever from being “appropriate” for the young. Nevertheless, few things are more important than children’s books.

    Best of luck!

  2. Fabulous cover!!

    Wish I could hear your talk.

  3. Good luck! I’m sure it will be oh so entertaining, and I hope you’ll share the list you narrowed it down, too. Maybe a transcript of your talk?

  4. Argh. Sorry about the lack of grammar in that last post. Maybe I should finish my coffee and breakfast before trying to post thoughts in the morning. Anyhow, good luck!

  5. You will be brilliant! Enjoy!

  6. Thanks, you all. It went well. No transcripts exist. Sorry, Cassy. Maybe next time! (Parts of it were recorded — but not all.)

  7. It’s a little late for a good luck, but I’m glad to hear it went well!

  8. […] My July Moon Bear post is here. […]

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