Reviews /

The Snow Bear

Authored by Holly Webb
Published by Little Tiger Press Group

Tagged , , , , ,

A magical tale of one little girl’s adventures in the Arctic. The story begins as the snow starts to fall. Sara is staying with her grandad while her parents prepare for the arrival of a new baby. Grandad is a fascinating character who is writing a book on Inuit folk tales which Sara loves to hear. Her favourite tale is the one about a polar bear cub who is lost in the snow and was subsequently taken into Grandad’s home in Canada until he grew too big and then had to be sent back to the wild. There is an interesting moral debate to be had around this decision and something that initially leaves some unrest for both Sara and her Grandad as they ponder on the outcome of these circumstances.

Grandad’s folk tales bring up several areas of discussion around ethical issues that can be explored sensitively with a young audience and when Sara ends up somehow within her Grandad’s story these opportunities clearly present themselves. For this reason, the book lends itself to being a class novel where the teacher can facilitate sensitive discussion. There is also some subject specific language based upon the Inuit culture and environment that may need further explanation. In this way it is suitable for ages 6-8 years.

There are strong relationship references to mothers in particular and both Sara and the bear cub, Peter, miss their mothers at certain points in the story. This, of course, could be a sensitive issue for some children so may need to be addressed carefully but could in fact be seen as a positive way to open certain discussions where relevant.

As the stories develop and intertwine, children will be enthralled by Sara and Peter’s journey and adventures in the Arctic which could be their very own Narnia. They will want to read on to see if Sara will indeed be able to help Peter find his mother.

Although this is in fact a 10th anniversary edition it has lost none of its magic and is as relevant today as it was in its original form. The occasional sketches through the book help to enhance the written descriptions and also break up the text for those children choosing to read the book themselves.