I’m so happy to have discovered this book, Big Bear Hug by Nicholas Oldland. It’s one of the most charming books I’ve read in a while.
Title: Big Bear Hug
Author & Illustrator: Nicholas Oldland
Publisher: Kids Can Press, 2009
Genre: Juvenile Fiction (Ages 3 to 9)
Theme/Topics: Bears, Environment, Conflict Resolution
There once was a bear so filled with love and happiness that whenever he roamed the forest and came across another living thing, he would give it a hug. Everywhere he wandered, the bear shared his love hug by hug.
(from Quill & Quire, Amazon.ca) This first picture book by artist and filmmaker Nicholas Oldland is a warm-hearted fable for the very young. Issues of conservation, confrontation, and love for all living things are spun together in the humorous and charming story of a bear who loves to hug everything — even creatures that other bears might be inclined to eat or attack. When this affectionate, tree-loving bear encounters a man with an axe looking to cut down one of the oldest, tallest, and most beautiful trees in the forest, the bear’s mood changes, but he quickly realizes that non-violent action may be just as effective as angry confrontation.
Why I Like This Book:
Actually, I LOVE this book! Being a vegetarian and quiet environmentalist, its non-violent, loving approach to a sadly common problem (cutting down our forests) immediately appealed to me. The illustrations are simply done in soft greens, blues, greys and browns, which gives a feeling of peacefulness to the book. The language is also simple, but charming and to the point. As one Amazon reviewer commented, “This book is adorable and has such a perfect message, especially for a budding young Buddhist – love not war.”
1.Listen to the book on YouTube.
2. EEK (Environmental Education for Kids) has a ton of great links. They’re not necessarily bear or tree specific, but they have lots of experiments, stories, videos, and arts and crafts activities all related to the environment.
3. We made some brown bear art that you might like to try.
4. Hug a tree! Have you ever tried it? Apparently it increases levels of hormone oxytocin — the feel-good hormone. During COVID year the Iclandic Forest Service promoted tree hugging as a way of feeling better and less socially isolated.
5. There are SO many wonderful benefits to be had hanging out in a forest or living near trees. Check out this article from Wild Tree Adventures to read about all the healthy perks.
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Sending big bear hugs your way …. and hoping your weekend is wonderful!