If your kid ever goes through a hyperfixation stage on bears, then this is absolutely the book to get them. Chock-full of fun facts and interesting data, this slender volume is the perfect gift for any kid who wants to know more about the omnivorous mammal. Presented in an easy to read question-and-answer format, this nonfiction tome will enrapture any reader who loves the natural world, and might very well beguile readers who have yet to discover its joys.
Christopher Nicholas’ writing covers each of the major species of bears, briefly describing why they’re called what they are. I hadn’t even realized why grizzly, sun and moon bears had those names! The book even tells you what species aren’t bears, so pandas: yes, red pandas and koalas: no. Kids Ask About Bears gives an overview of where each bear lives, what differentiates them from one another, and just what’s so special about each kind. It’s a very thorough survey given the relatively scant number of pages.
The book then goes on to examine what bears eat; how they hibernate, birth and raise their young, and ends with points of interest that will most appeal to kids. It really encourages readers to appreciate the animal, and to go out and seek more information on the topic.
This is all helped by the fact that the book is beautifully illustrated. The pictures are a throwback to mid- to late-20th-century illustrations, a sort of near-photorealistic artist’s interpretation of wildlife photos that wouldn’t be out of place in a National Geographic or similar conservation-minded magazine. My nonfiction-loving nine year-old enjoyed reading this book with me, even if his one big tip about defeating an attacking bear was to use a large rolling rock. Thanks, kid, I’ll keep that in mind.
Kids Ask About: Bears by Christopher Nicholas was published February 7 2023 by Sequoia Kids Media and is available from all good booksellers, including