Alaska’s Three Bears by Shelley Gill tells an exciting and riveting tale of the three separate bear species found in Alaska. The story starts off with all three bears joined in a group (never happens), and they go off on a journey to find their preferred habitat. As the story progresses, the polar bear departs when they find home in the arctic, the grizzly bear finds comfort in the tundra of the interior, and the black bear traveled furthest until residing in the forests and hillsides of southern Alaska. The story is further supplemented with artistically designed footnotes and factual information at the bottom of each page.
The artwork from illustrator, Shannon Cartwright, is where the true beauty of this book comes from. The pictures are bright, colorful, and interesting. If the story had no words, the pictures would still be able to stand on their own. The accurately depict to three bears’ specialized features, preferred habitats, and how each bear hunted and foraged for food. Overall, this would be a pretty good book to use in the classroom to introduce discussion about biological ideas regarding specialization, adaptation, yearly life cycles of bears, and the food web. This could also be used as a template for students to design their own books/stories about some other ecologically or biologically relevant topic to their community. 2.4/3 for use in the classroom.
Gill, Shelley. Alaska’s Three Bears. Homer, AK. Paws IV Publishing. 1990.