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I read and review lots of children's books and sometimes there is that book I just didn't get around to reading. I know, right? With the sequel 'Finding Bear' out now and with my school buying in a whole class set for our Literacy Tree sequence in Y6, I thought it was about time to read 'The Last Bear'! And, oh my goodness, what a glorious warm hug of a story it is. It's a classic, isn't it? Full of hope, charm and wild wisdom, 'The Last Bear' is one of those unique children's books that heal us in the face of emergency. It's a warm safety blanket, a modern fable.


Climate change finds its way into so many children's books now, and for good reason, of course. But the brilliance of Hannah Gold is to remind us of the magnificence of nature and the special bond that can be nurtured and saved between human and beast. She writes with daring and power, beauty and humility. She masterfully brings to life the barren, though sublime, landscape of Bear Island. Yet, it is how she brilliantly captures the intimate joy and understanding of the relationship between April and Bear that is an unforgettable achievement. There are very few books that bring to life a human-animal bond so authentically and so magnificently. This must be a true story. It is, isn't it?

Levi Pinfold's illustrations are absolutely stunning too. What an illustrator! Gold and Pinfold is one awesome combination.

I know there are lots of reviews out there to recommend 'The Last Bear' to children and adults alike already, but I had to throw mine into the mix. I'm so pleased I picked the 'The Last Bear' for my Year 6 class to study. And I must now get 'Finding Bear'! In a bleak, anxious world, children's stories like this offer us the most valuable and necessary commodities of all: hope. Long may authors like Hannah Gold write for our next generations. Wonderful.

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