Rebekah Raye Bear-ly There

ISBN 13: 9780884483144

Bear-ly There

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9780884483144: Bear-ly There

* Moonbeam Award, Environmental Issues *

What do you do when there's a bear in your backyard? A big black bear shows up one moonlit night and creates a real ruckus, first breaking into the shed where the grain is kept for the geese (who aren't too happy about it), then raiding the bird feeders. The bear is also causing problems at other homes in the neighborhood, getting into the trash and compost and eating dog food that was left out overnight.

One neighbor offers to shoot it. Another one suggests calling the game warden to have the bear tranquilized and relocated. But the child among them knows what is best. A bear belongs in the woods, he says, but how can he convince the bear? Together with the adults he clears the yards in the neighborhood of any food that would tempt the bear. His dad comes up with a good idea for warning the bear away--and it works!

BEAR-LY THERE shows that it's always best for the bear if it stays in the woods, away from humans. An occasional glimpse of a bear through the trees or at the far side of a meadow is much, much better than having one in the backyard--for us and for the bear.

Color throughout

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About the Author:

Rebekah Raye is an artist beloved for her bird and animal paintings and sculpture, derived from her affinity with the natural world around her studio in East Blue Hill, Maine. In Rebekah’s words, “My early interest in animals of all kinds continues to be the focus of my painting and sculpture. Our pet chickens, geese, and cats―as well as the wild fox, bobcat, crows, and deer―are my inspiration. The more I learn about the animals I paint, the more I understand how we are all related.” Rebekah’s award-winning children’s books include The Very Best Bed, Bear-ly There, The Secret Pool, and Swimming Home, all published by Tilbury House.

From Booklist:

The magnificently rich rendering of a bear on the cover invites readers into the woods to witness the bear awakening in spring. The artist’s affinity for the natural world emerges in the expressive, textured details of flora and fauna. It’s a shame that the first page has a misspelled word (“whisps of steam”). Enticing smells draw the bear into backyards, and Charlie and his family watch with trepidation as, day after day, the bear finds new reasons to invade civilization: to steal seed, knock over trash cans, and tear up the compost pile. Charlie warns neighbors by posting signs (“What to do if you have a bear in your backyard”), and his family members devise plans to protect their turf. In this cautionary tale, the illustrations are more successful than the text, which is a bit wordy and lacking in focus, centering first on the bear and then shifting to the people. Yet it admirably confronts a problem not often addressed in children’s books. Grades 1-3. --Patricia Austin

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