Bear Island

Matthew Cordell, 1975-

Book - 2021

Louise and her family are sad over the loss of their beloved dog, Charlie. "Life will not be the same," Louise says, as she visits a little island that Charlie loved. But on a visit to the island after Charlie's death, something strange happens: She meets a bear. At first, she's afraid, but soon she realizes that the bear is sad, too. As Louise visits more often, she realizes that getting over loss takes time. And just when she starts to feel better, it's time for Bear t...o bed down for the winter. Once again, Louise believes that life will not be the same. But sometimes, things can change for the better, and on the first warm day of spring, her family welcomes a new member. Here is a lovely, poignant story about loss and healing that will bring comfort to even the youngest readers.

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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
New York : Feiwel and Friends 2021.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : chiefly color illustrations ; 23 x 25 cm
ISBN
9781250317162
1250317169
Main Author
Matthew Cordell, 1975- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Louise and her parents, who live beside a lake, are grieving the loss of their dog, Charlie. Mom and Dad go about their chores inside, but Louise takes their boat to a nearby island, a place Charlie loved. There she senses changes: a flock of butterflies, tame deer, and a very large (and seemingly sad) bear. Bear and girl exchange roars but support each other over the coming weeks as life gradually improves for everyone. When Bear hibernates for the winter, Louise is bereft again, but a new puppy helps to ease the loss. Cordell's heartfelt story includes pen-and-ink illustrations, enlivened with watercolor and gouache. Brown tones predominate in the beginning illustrations (where sadness pervades); brighter hues appear once Louise and the bear (as well as Mom and Dad) begin to heal. Grief can be particularly difficult to address with young children, and Cordell wisely eschews the platitudes often associated with this emotion, choosing instead to demonstrate the healing powers of nature and time. Preschool-Grade 2. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In a house by a lake, Louise and her parents mourn the loss of Charlie, their dog. There's an island on the lake, and Louise rows out there in angry turmoil, painted in sepia scenes by Caldecott Medalist Cordell (Wolf in the Snow). She waits for something to happen, but there's only silence. "I'm leaving!" she shouts, thwacking a stick against a tree. Butterflies emerge, and deer, and then there's a noise—"a snapping of trees noise... a chuffing of breath noise"—and a bear appears. The bear, Louise sees in his defeated posture and sad expression, has also suffered a loss. Louise returns to the island throughout the summer and fall; Cordell portrays her as a scribbly, friendly pink-sinned figure and the bear as a massive, magnificent one. Vignettes show the two as they travel through their grief together: "Some days, only Louise was better. Some days, only Bear was better." But both heal, slowly, a change traced across the seasons via an imperceptible transformation to full color. In a story that respects grief's slow pace, Cordell's writing and artwork together carry grace, economy, and heart. Ages 2–5. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (Jan.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"Louise and her family are sad over the loss of their beloved dog, Charlie. "Life will not be the same," Louise says, as she visits a little island that Charlie loved. But on a visit to the island after Charlie's death, something strange happens: She meets a bear. At first, she's afraid, but soon she realizes that the bear is sad, too. As Louise visits more often, she realizes that getting over loss takes time"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Bear Island is a heartfelt picture book about healing after loss by Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Louise and her family are sad over the loss of their beloved dog, Charlie. "Life will not be the same," Louise says, as she visits a little island that Charlie loved.

But on a visit to the island after Charlie's death, something strange happens: She meets a bear. At first, she's afraid, but soon she realizes that the bear is sad, too. As Louise visits more often, she realizes that getting over loss takes time. And just when she starts to feel better, it's time for Bear to bed down for the winter.

Once again, Louise believes that life will not be the same. But sometimes, things can change for the better, and on the first warm day of spring, her family welcomes a new member. Here is a lovely, poignant story about loss and healing that will bring comfort to even the youngest readers.