Cover image for Bear hug
Bear hug
McEwen, Katharine, author, illustrator.
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
Somerville, Massachusetts : Templar Books, an imprint of Candlewick Press, 2014.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 30 cm
When a young bear must face his first winter alone, he relies on the skills he learned from his parents to prepare for the season.
Reading Level:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Audubon Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
Hamburg Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Orchard Park Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Central Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books

On Order



Watch life unfold as the seasons change.

One bear is facing his first winter alone. Just as his parents taught him, he gathers leaves for his cave and fishes for food in the river. Then, across the babbling water, he meets a mate, and they weather the winter together in a big bear hug. When spring arrives, so does a new bear cub, and the proud parents begin to teach him what they have learned.

Author Notes

Katharine McEwen has illustrated more than thirty books for children, collaborating with many well-known authors, including Allan Ahlberg and Anne Fine. This book is her debut as an author-illustrator.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Prolific illustrator McEwen makes her authorial debut with this fanciful look at the changing of the seasons and hibernation. A brown bear remembers what he has learned from his parents about getting ready to hibernate. When he wakes from his long winter's nap, he meets a mate, and together they teach their cub the lessons that he will need to survive on his own. Double-page spreads of textured paper collage in muted, natural tones depict rich forest scenes. A bubbling brook, a blanket of snow, and crunchy fallen leaves all evoke an atmosphere of a woodsy wonderland. Bright pops of color come in the form of beribboned birdsong and flowing honey. The illustrations are the true highlight here, and in places, they physically overpower the text, which can be difficult to read. Though this is not a purely informational approach to bear behavior, families will still glean the basic facts and may want to replicate their own hibernation tradition of getting snug in a big bear hug. --Mazza, April Copyright 2010 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

PreS-K-A young bear prepares for hibernation, just as his parents taught him. He gathers leaves for his cave, feasts on fish and berries, and meets a mate. When winter comes, they slumber in their cozy den, "snug in a big bear hug." In spring, they awake together and welcome their new cub. As summer becomes autumn, they teach their little one how to get ready for winter, retreating to their cave when snow starts to fall. McEwen's mostly double-page collage illustrations deftly capture the feel of a dense forest, filled with stylized trees, snowflakes, rocks, and birds. Though the bears are not heavily anthropomorphized, the story is more idealized than factual, as real bears are solitary animals and do not rear their young in family units. An appealing, if somewhat flawed, portrayal of serene bear life amid the changing of seasons.-Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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