'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Review: The Bear With the Sword

This multi-award winning book released in Australia by extraordinary publisher Wilkins Farago (how I love their list), is a classic in the making.

When a large, grumpy bear decapitates a forest of trees with his  powerful and impressive sword - a sword that can cut through anything - he isn't prepared for the unexpected chain of events that follow.

Soon after his chopping spree, his hand-built fort is swept away by a torrent of water. Furious, he marches to the dam, determined to find out who is responsible for this slight... so he can cut them in two with his sword!
But the beaver keepers of the dam beg for their lives. They are not responsible for the flood - it was the pigdeer's fault - he charged them and made them run away from their post at the dam.

But when Bear finds the pigdeer, he insists the flood wasn't his fault either - it was the fox who cut off his ear with an arrow. And so the Bear trails along, discovering a series of animals who pass the buck to the next unsuspecting creature, until he is lead to some birds who insist the reason the flood occurred was because... someone had cut all the trees down.

This timely, beautiful storyline is not only touching and relevant, it is thoughtful and tender... that big bad bear is a practical soul - and he's not as hardline as we were once lead to believe. The way he makes things up the animals is just beautiful.

Evocative illustrations make this a breathtaking picture book a modern day classic. Its message is subtley encased in a fable-like storyline that paints a rather unnerving picture of a very possible future for our planet. Let's just hope the real tree-loppers eventually show the heart and soul of this big and beautiful bear.

Title: The Bear With the Sword
Author: Davide Cali
Illustrator: Gianluca Foli
Publisher: Wilkins Farago, A$24.99RRP
Publication Date: 2010
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 9780980607000
For ages: 6+
Type: Picture Book