The illustrations are beautiful--but the subject matter falls heavily in the "You can tell this was written in the 50s" arena. The young hero of the story sets out to shoot a bear--just like everyone else in town does, several times a year even--but instead takes pity on a baby bear cub. Baby bears grow into big bears, and the playful adult proceeds to eat the family out of house and home. The story's about to go all Old Yeller on us, when a more humane (but still depressing, really) ending presents itself.
Could be a good talking point with your children on why wildlife rescue organizations seek to return animals to nature, and not keep them as pets or in zoos.
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