The Ice Bear
Author and Illustrator: Jackie Morris
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In the tradition of myths of old, this powerful story entwines magical themes, shape shifting, harsh realities and pure emotions into a story from another time. The concepts of love, balance and respect for all life are strong reoccurring themes in Jackie Morris’ books.
“In the beginning of time, people and animals lived together on the earth and there was no difference between them.” Thus begins the story of a changeling child, the cub of a polar bear who is stolen away by the trickster raven. Raven leaves the bundle of fur to be discovered by a hunter.
When it is unwrapped a boy child is revealed. The hunter and his wife have wished for a child for many years and bring him up as their own. At the end of the boys seventh summer the raven returns and lures the child away with pieces of amber.
Hopelessly lost in the icy landscape the child weakens and prepares to die as looming shapes close around him. However as the ring of seven polar bears surround him, one smells his scent and recognises the child as his stolen cub brother. The boy too remembers the ice cave of their birth.
The child rides with the bears to an emotional reunion with his aging bear mother.
Meanwhile the hunter tracks the missing child across the frozen miles. He has found the paw prints and the amber stones.
Surely his child is dead. He vows to kill the bears. He comes upon the group and in the moment before his spear strikes the ravens cry breaks the spell and he sees the boy. The child must choose who he will stay with.
The ending is one of harmony and respect. Stunningly illustrated as always, this rich and magical tale will leave you spellbound.
Please note The Ice Bear is recommended for children six years and older as some of the concepts may seem frightening and be too advanced for deeper comprehension. You may feel perfectly happy to support your young child through this book. I know as a small child I was read Hansel and Gretel and many other stories with darker themes with no explanations.
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- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
- Publication Date: 2 Sep 2010
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 184507968X
- ISBN-13: 978-1845079680
- Product Dimensions: 30.2 x 22.4 x 1.4 cm
- Age Range: 6 + years
Below is a full reading of The Ice Bear book by author Jackie Morris
Jackie was inspired to draw from a very early age by her father who used to sketch and take her on outings in nature.
“I remember walking in the park by the river, bank voles and weeping willows and bright flashes of kingfishers. I loved the ferry at Hampton where the ferryman pulled you across the river to a land of fields and blackberries, where my dad would walk with me and show me how to find birds’ nests and tales of when he was a boy.”