The Last Bear is Hannah Gold’s first book, and I’m sure it will soon become very popular and will be read for many years to come. Both the subject and the characters are so lovely that I am sure children, as well as adults, will read it with pleasure.
I have recently read such beautiful children’s books that if I were to choose a single genre that I would read until the end of my life, I would choose children’s books. And The Last Bear would be among the children’s books I would recommend. I recommend this book to children and adults because we need to remind ourselves over and over that children see, hear, know and therefore feel much more than we think.
The Last Bear describes the incredible friendship between April and a polar bear. On the one hand, it touches on global warming and its effects on the world; on the other hand, it touches on the devastating impact of a lost parent on both the child and the other parent. But it describes them in such a pleasant way that you are neither bored nor sad.
Bear Island is named after the polar bears who visited the island. However, due to melting glaciers, no bears have been seen on Bear Island in recent years because bears cannot reach the island without glaciers. April and her father settle on the island for six months for her father’s job to monitor the island’s weather. Although April is pleased that she will spend more time with her father and be the only two people on the island, her happiness vanishes after they arrive on the island. Because his father devotes himself entirely to his work and closes in his room, April is mostly alone.
On the one hand, we learn that his father has changed since her mother’s death and that laughter is not heard at home as before. Without waiting for her father to take care of her, April sets out to explore the island, and the adventure begins.
The depictions of nature in The Last Bear will take you to this cold island. You will feel what it is like to be friends with a polar bear while admiring the beauty of nature. You will, again and again, thank both nature and animals and want to do your best to fix the relationship between us. The Last Bear will make you feel hopeful and uplifted; it is a heartwarming book. Oh, and of course, you’ll want to find a plush polar bear (at least) and hug it a lot. I recommend The Last Bear to everyone, especially parents. We all need to read children’s books and remember how it feels to be a little more innocent.
I wish that children’s books would not be about global warming and the danger of extinction. However, in our time, we have to read children’s books on protecting nature, cultural diversity, tolerance and similar themes. The children will learn, and we will reeducate ourselves with them. We have no other option.
The Last Bear
Imagine making friends with a polar bear… The Last Bear is perfect for readers of 8+, beautifully illustrated throughout by Levi Pinfold – winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and illustrator of Harry Potter 20th anniversary edition covers.
“This is an important first novel, important for us, for polar bears, for the planet. It is deeply moving, beautifully told, quite unforgettable.” Michael Morpurgo.
There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that’s what April’s father tells her when his scientific research takes them to this remote Arctic outpost for six months. But one endless summer night, April meets one. He is starving, lonely and a long way from home. Determined to save him, April begins the most important journey of her life…
This moving story will win the hearts of children the world over and show them that no one is too young or insignificant to make a difference. The Last Bear is a celebration of the love between a child and an animal, a battle cry for our world and an irresistible adventure with a heart as big as a bear’s.
‘A dazzling debut . . . A magical, confidently told story – with beautiful illustrations by Levi Pinfold . . . I predict a roaring success’ The Times
Growing up, Hannah’s biggest dream was to own a cat and be a writer and she’s happy to say she’s achieved both. After studying screenwriting at university she went onto work in the London film and theatre industry before following her heart to sunnier climes.
Following a series of adventures in various different parts of the world, she settled in the south of Spain and lived very happily there for about ten years until her future husband came along and dragged her back to the UK. She now lives in Lincolnshire with her tortoise, her cat and said husband. Hannah is passionate about writing stories which share her love of the planet and when not writing, she’s busy looking for her next big animal story.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: