Wild About Bears – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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18229546Title: Wild About Bears

By Jeannie Brett

Published by Charlesbridge, March 2014

Ages: 6-9

Themes: Bears


Opening Lines:

Eight bear species live on earth today: the polar bear, brown bear, North American black bear, spectacled bear, Asiatic black bear, sloth bear, sun bear, and giant panda.


I want you to be honest, hands up those of you who could have named all eight of these bears! I knew it, most of you were as surprised as me by some of these names, right? And you will be even more delighted by the illustrations, descriptions, behavior, habitats and locations you will discover about these eight species. I don’t want to spoil your discoveries, but let me tempt you with a couple of facts. The brown bear can weigh up to 1,000 pounds! The sloth bear shares its habitat with tigers! 32 pages packed with gems about these animals and their unique place in the world’s biodiversity.

Why I Like This Book:

From the beautiful spectacled bear on the front cover to fifteen illustrations in the habitat glossary at the back of the book, Jeannie Brett’s art and text bring these eight bears and their lives to life for young readers. This book will be on permanent hold in school libraries as I know many youngsters will adore the fascinating facts a friendly ursine features. This is the third nonfiction picture book I have reviews this month and as with the other two, I learned many new things myself. If you have a young animal enthusiast in your family this would make a great gift. The research has been thorough, but just the right amount of detail has been included for child readers. I was very happy to see a couple of paragraphs at the end of the book on some of the dangers bears face worldwide. Many of the NF picture books about bears focus on just one species, often panda or polar bears, so it is a great resource to have one covering all eight species!


  • The final pages of the book include: a map of the location of the eight species, their fifteen habitats and a page of suggested books and websites for supplemental information.
  • Jeannie Brett did a wonderful interview recently with me here.
  • Jeannie’s website contains more resources for inquisitive minds.
  • I would definitely get the paints out and have the children paint their favorite of the eight species!

Every Friday, authors and Kidlit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the perfect picture books with resources, please visit Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books List.

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21 Responses to Wild About Bears – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Great non-fiction choice! I am looking forward to reading it. Thanks for introducing me to a new author. 🙂

  2. This is a great gift book. Love the cover! I could name 4 of 8 bears. Where does the Grizzly fit in? I have a granddaughter who’d love this book. This morning on the TODAY SHOW, the featured a bear, a lion and a tiger living together and best friends. They were rescued from a basement and they had already formed a bond at a young age. And, it continues today. So moving.

    • Joanna says:

      Pat, I too only knew 4!!! I am not going to tell you were the grizzly fits in so you and your granddaughter are juts going to have to pick up a copy!

  3. Rhythm says:

    Bears! Oh my! You’re right – there aren’t many books about all bears. I love that cover. I’ve never seen a real bear. We don’t have them in our area, but I’ve heard that black bears used to be around. Thanks for sharing this gem. I’ll be looking for it!

    • Joanna says:

      I just assumed you’d get bears in Texas, too, Rhythm. If you ever see one, I wouldn’t try and play with it!

  4. Checked this out from my library last week. Love how the cover draws you right in! Another winner from Jeannie!

  5. How could one not fall for those eyes on the cover!

  6. I’m another commenter totally sucked in by the cover. When I saw a real bear up close at the Columbus Zoo last year I was Amazed at how enormous it was! Claws that could rake off a face (it was sleeping against the glass so we could really see it!) The cover says cute but I know otherwise now.

  7. My son knew 6 of them, but I only knew 4. 🙂 As someone who sometimes hike in bear country, I have a healthy (and distant) respect for them. I’d love to find out more about the 4 that I didn’t know!

  8. This book looks wonderful and interesting, Joanna! I actually did know the 8 kinds of bears… but only because I wrote back matter for my own bear book which was published in Dutch 🙂 I see an illustrator with last name Brett and wonder – is she related to Jan? Thanks for sharing this great book!

    • Joanna says:

      Susanna, I am impressed and I did think of you and where you live when writing this. And, yes, of course you have an adorable bear book, too. Isn’t it wonderful what we learn through our picture book reading and writing? I do believe that Jeannie and Jan are sisters and talent lies in those family genes!

  9. Emily Lim says:

    I could not name all 8 bears…but now I can! Singapore is now hosting 2 panda bears at our Wildlife Reserves and they are a huge attraction!

  10. a great book for kids who want to know more about bears… beyond the black bears and grizzlies. thanks for sharing.

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