Oct 232014
 October 23, 2014  Book Reviews, natural parenting

Spirit Bear: Teaching Children About Endangered Animals

Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary review copy of Spirit Bear; however, all opinions are my own.

When introducing young children to any serious subject, such as endangered animals, it is hard to overemphasize the influence that endearing storybook or animated characters can have.  After all, many of us first began to think about the importance of protecting the natural world because of a love of a particular fictional character.

What will Bambi and Thumper do when their forest home is destroyed?  Who will speak for the trees if not the Lorax?

The new children’s book Spirit Bear by Jennifer Harrington fits squarely into this tradition.  It is the story of Annuk, a white bear cub (a “spirit bear”), who one fateful day is swept away in the river and must make his way back home through the rainforest to his mother.  In his journey, he must face the dangers of the forest, with help from an unexpected new friend – Kaya, a sea wolf pup.

It is a story of perseverance and bravery, of friendship and trust.  Moreover, the beautiful wildlife illustrations introduce children to 22 animals from the Great Bear Rainforest in Western Canada, many of whom are endangered.  Of course, Monkey’s favorite picture was the last one, when Annuk is back home with his mama and siblings!

This gorgeous picture book is recommended for children ages 5-8 years old.  And this week you can win a copy of Spirit Bear in our giveaway – along with a FREE Teachers’ Package, an additional $9.95 value!  The Teachers’ Package is filled with learning resources, including an animated version of the book and a short educational film that shows children real spirit bears and other animals from the Canadian wilderness.

You can find out more about Spirit Bear on Eco Books 4 Kids, a new “green” Canadian publishing company dedicated to creating fun picture books to engage and educate children about the nature world.  Spirit Bear, the company’s first publication, is printed in Canada with vegetable inks on 100% recycled paper with an FSC cover for a reduced eco-footprint.  Eco Books 4 Kids is the latest endeavor of children’s author Jennifer Harrington.  Born and raised in British Columbia, she is passionate about educating children about the natural world and inspiring in them a desire to protect it.  Illustrator Michael Arnott, of mixed European and Ojibway descent, shares this deep love for Canada’s natural environment, having grown up in the rugged wilderness of Northern Ontario.

Enter our giveaway below to share Spirit Bear with a child in your life!

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  12 Responses to “Spirit Bear: Teaching Children about Endangered Animals Plus a Giveaway!”

  1. I would say middle school when the harbor seal pups were in danger. My daughter however at age 5 already has known about endangered animals for a year or two through books and television programs.

  2. With my dad having lived in Africa and often comparing/contrasting the 2 lifestyles for us, I think we were always aware of the need to protect our world. I don’t remember a time of not knowing that. Not sure that I’m doing quite as well as my dad at imparting that… guess I need to win this book, for a start! 🙂

  3. When I was about 12 I became very aware of helping animals and helping the planet. It was a revolutionary year for me!

  4. I was pretty young. I believe I was in fourth or fifth grade. It started with the orcas. My parents paid for me to get wildlife cards that came in the mail of all different species.

  5. I think I first became aware when my older brother started wearing a “Save the Rainforest” t-shirt. It wore it as often as my mom would let him for an entire school year!

  6. I’m from British Columbia, where the book is set. We grew up learning about the importance of trees, water, and animals in our area. What a magical place! Can’t wait to see the book and share with my little one to teach her about my hometown.

  7. I remember adopting a manatee in my 2nd grade classroom. I think that started my awareness. I pushed my family to recycle before our city had a curbside program, smashing cans and collecting until it was enough to take down to the recycling center downtown.

  8. In Girl Scouts we did lots of projects to help the environment — probably when I first started really taking notice.

  9. Loving the Earth was always in my mind, since I was a tiny girl and roaming the woods near our house. I am so happy to see more authors writing wonderful books like this. Hope I win so I can share with others. It looks like a beautiful book!

  10. As a Brownie and Girl Guide I learned to appreciate nature. I have been fascinated with all things bears since childhood.

  11. One of my daughters first words was out meaning outside to her. She is not a happy camper unless we spend hours each day outside with nature. As it should be!

  12. Thanks for sharing at Sharing Saturday this week!

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