Most of us need a guide to bear spotting. I know I certainly do, and this young character probably needs it more than most. For, you see, bears are complicated creatures. At once ferocious and the next moment softer than the small and stuffed kind.
As we follow this genderless (love that part--as either boys or girls or both can relate to him or her) child on their journey through the pages of this book, we realise there is much to learn about these big fuzzy creatures ... until we finally meet with an open, ambiguous ending that is both funny and deliciously creepy.
Penned by Michelle Robinson, who has produced a smile-inducingly, dry and humourous text, the book is beautifully typeset with varying sizes and weights, making it one well-rounded book--from its production values to its narrative, imagery and messaging.
Roberts' images are typically divine, and careen perfectly between highly-detailed scenes and the deep pause of white. This allows the text to further shine. His fabulous use of texture and colour really is Up There when it comes to creative talent.
So far, A Beginner's Guide to Bear Spotting is one of my fave PBs for 2016. Watch out for it.
Title: A Beginner's Guide to Bear Spotting
Author: Michelle Robinson
Illustrator: David Roberts
Publisher: Bloomsbury, $33.99
Publication Date: 9 February 2016
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
For ages: 4 - 8
Type: Picture Book