A Bear's Year by Kathy Duval

While putting together a winter storytime for preschoolers about hibernation I came across a new book I think is a winner: A Bear's Year by Kathy Duval and illustrated by Gerry Turley.  This picture book was on the New Book Shelf in the Children's Room and it is a simple story done in rhyming couplets that explores all four seasons with Mama and her two bear cubs.  Beginning with winter, "Winter Bear drifts into sleep,/ Earth's snowflake blanket soft and deep." We see how bears experience each season of the year.  In the spring, "Springtime Bear wakes at last;/ her springtime cubs are growing fast." Then the Summer Bear "Cubs catch fish, find bees that swarm,/ and dig for roots when days are warm."  Finally in the autumn, "Coats grow thick, bodies strong./ Soon bears will doze all winter long."  The artwork is appealing and the book format is large enough for group sharing.  Geared for children 3-6 years old, this title provides accurate information about the lives of bears in the wild, but also helps young children learn about the four seasons of the year.  Turley's simple but effective illustrations were rendered using drawing and screen printing, which were then pieced together digitally. Duval's new book would make a lovely gift and children would enjoy cuddling up with Mommy to listen to this story in rhyme.



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