Snugs the Snow Bear by Suzy Davies
Illustrated by Peter Hall
Reviewed by Gabriel Constans
A sweet children’s book (for ages 4 and up), with a lot of animal characters, nice people, and of course the star of the show, Snugs, the snow bear. Snugs is not necessarily a polar bear, though he is off-white and lives in Greenland.
Snugs is set adrift when the ice he is on has melted, and goes towards Iceland. On the way he is discovered by a boat (ship Prince Eleanore) and the crew and passengers help him out. It is here that he meets Carla and James, and their grandmother (Mrs. Merryweather) who live in the Isle of Wight (England).
Snugs the Snow Bear combines some beautiful events (the Northern Lights, and visiting sites in Iceland) with the realities of global warming and its effect upon humans, animals, climate and the earth in general.
At first, I was taken slightly aback by the animals (some magical moose, etc.) and people (including Captain LightOwler and Rosanne) being able to talk to one another, and understand each other, but after awhile that concern faded into the background and fit with them all having to live on the same planet.
by Claire Cameron.
Reviewed 10-28/13 Publisher’s Weekly
Inspired by a fatal 1991 bear attack on a couple camping on an island in Ontario’s Algonquin Park, Cameron’s novel of fear and survival recounts the fictional escape from a similar attack of five-year-old Anna and her two-year-old brother, Alex (nicknamed “Stick” for his sticky fingers). Anna’s narrative begins midattack after her father has tossed her and her brother into the storage chest they call “Coleman.” Squished in the darkness between Stick and her teddy bear, Anna sees a black furry animal through a crack, but all she can picture is her next-door neighbor’s dog Snoopy. In daylight, she climbs out of Coleman to discover what remains of her father and to catch her mother’s last words urging her to put her brother in the canoe and paddle away. What follows is a vividly portrayed wilderness ordeal (poison ivy, hunger, rain, isolation) juxtaposed with glimpses of the inner resources young Anna draws upon (imagination, family, memory, hope), all seen through the eyes of a child who can express, if not entirely understand, her own resentment and protectiveness of her brother, her love and longing for her parents, her fear and empathy for the predator, and her determination to persevere.
Read entire review and other stories at Publisher’s Weekly
From Great American Smoothies: The Ultimate Blending Guide for Shakes, Slushes, Desserts, & Thirst Quenchers
by Gabriel Constans
(One of the first books of smoothies published in North America.)
Except for the polar bear; most bears are dark in color and are usually peaceful and timid unless disturbed. If you happen to surprise a bear, especially a mother with cubs, you have two choices. One, slowly back away and act like you don’t exist; or two, offer it a Smokey Bear smoothie. This is one of my favorites – cool, refreshing and filling.
Yield: 4 cups
3 cups soy milk
3 tablespoons carob powder
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 cup firm tofu
2 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons honey
1. Place all ingredients in a blender, and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.
2. Place the smoothie mixture in the freezer for 5 minutes, until chilled.
3. Pour into tall glasses, serve, drink your fill and go into hibernation.