The Very Hungry Bear is the latest instalment in the adventures of a very popular and much loved bear at the hands of Australian author and illustrator Nick Bland. Incorporating a new angle, but still with a clearly defined theme of friendship, this latest picture book was great fun to read out loud.
It would seem that the Cranky bear has mellowed some what in recent years, emitting fewer ROARS and demonstrating caring for others he really has learnt about friendship and giving ... well, ok, so a gigantic pile of fish IS involved and that really is hard to resist when this bear is now HUNGRY!
The new character to delve in to bear's world is a polar bear who is accidentally reeled in by our grumpy bear during a fishing trip. The appearance of polar bear, balancing precariously on a rapidly decreasing ice berg whilst clutching arm falls of fish, well, it works.
After the bribery of fish is passed on to our friend,
" 'You can have the whole pile,
If you'll just find me somewhere to stay.' "
... they set about finding a suitable home for polar bear.
The gorgeous blue of the sky hovering above the brilliant aqua of the sea is the background for a shiny white ice berg which is home to a rather endearing looking polar bear. The vividness of the illustrations serve to encourage young minds to form visual ideas regarding the habitats which suit different animals. The problem solving, finding a new home for polar bear, is handled well - short, fun and effective with a heart warming ending.
I enjoyed the fact that cranky bear is clearly moving on, that new ideas have been successfully brought in to Bland's latest picture book ensuring the concept remains fresh and enjoyable.
Read our Book Week Interview with Nick Bland here.
The Very Hungry Bear is also available as a Book App.