The Ice Bear
The Ice Bear is a story of the relationship between man and the natural world at the dawn of time. Here, pre-history meets myth. Far away in the frozen north, in the depths of an Arctic winter, a polar bear gives birth to twin cubs. But, through trickery, a raven steals one of her cubs and gives him to a childless Inuit couple; the cub becomes human and grows up learning human ways, and his father teaches him how to hunt the Inuit way.
When he’s seven, the raven leads the boy back to the bears. There is rejoicing at his return, for his bear mother and brother have never forgotten him. But his human hunter father fears that the child has been killed by the bears and is on his trail. He will kill the bear who killed his child. Is the human child/bear cub wise enough to find a way which will allow bears and humans to live peaceably together? It is a tale which has a special relevance for our own times.
This enchanting story, beautifully told and ravishingly illustrated by Jackie Morris, echoes the Greek myth of Demeter and her lost daughter, Persephone. There is grief and loss when the cub or child, goes missing, but also joy at their return. The same story, in many versions, has been told and re-told across many cultures and periods. Jackie Morris’s modern take on an ancient legend fits in perfectly. This is a story which I’m sure an imaginative child would love to have read to them. Highly recommended.