You've chose an exciting day to stop by indeed as we are playing host for our second Book Blog Tour of the month (and of the life of this blog thus far! Yay!). Exciting, isn't it? But WAIT....there's more! Today will be a first indeed as along with the fabulous info imparted, YOU will HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN PRIZES! That's right....our very FIRST contest! (*~*happy dance*~*) So without further ado, allow me to introduce our "post guest" of the day. It is a children's book dealing with nature, our relationship with it, and a story of both forward thinking and wonder. Today's Book Blog Tour star is....
This is the story of being in the wrong place at the right time. (Confused? Keep reading...) We start out with a beautiful black bear awakening from it's slumber after a long winter's nap. The first thing on his mind? MUST FIND FOOD! (Can you blame him? Would you last months without eating...I think not...) In his search for something delicious he happens upon an easily accessable stash of seeds ripe for the taking. The problem? They are in located outside a house that happens to be both occupied and in a residential area! Needless to say the neighbors do not take so kindly to this perceived intruder and suggest a myriad of ways to handle the situation (some less gruesome than others). The one person to solve the problem is the one person few would listen too....a young boy named Charlie. Charlie happens to live in the house that the bear visited and despite the fact that his pet geese were in dangerously close proximity to this unexpected guest, he is the one that comes up with a plan to solve this problem as well as the underlying "elephant in the room"....human behavior. Take a walk with both Nature and mankind on this incredible story that will touch both your heart and your mind.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebekah Raye is an artist beloved for her bird and animal paintings and sculpture. Her warm, expressive work is derived from her affinity with the natural world around her at her studio and home in East Blue Hill, Maine (where she had a bear visitor not too long ago). She illustrated Thanks to the Animals by Allen Sockabasin and is the author and illustrator of The Very Best Bed. Rebekah shares her love of art and her skills in workshops for adults and children and makes frequent school visits.
When first invited to join this Book Tour, I was very flattered. At the time, it was the only one planned (albeit I had another join up for a visit 2 weeks before this one....but Sarah from Tilbury House was truly the first one to make contact...THANKS!), so beyond the fact that the story sounded cute, I was really excited! After receiving and reading the ARC sent, I was more than happy I joined. The story is sweet and informative at the same time. You really learn about natural bear activites as well as ways to avoid them coming to your neck of the woods (i.e. your front yard) without causing them any harm. In fact, it helps them to stay within their natural habitat and not become classified as a nuisance to populated areas...a problem that is seen more frequently as we spread out into previously nature driven locations.
That being said, I do want to take a moment to mention how beautiful the pictures are. There is one photo that you are right in the bear's face (muzzle?) and it's big brown eyes are looking right at you...it's so cute! Each one is detailed and tailored to fit the point of the story it is displayed at perfectly. One of my favorites is when the bear initially wakes up and stands tall to scratch his back on a tree. The bear is pictured doing this, but his woodland friends are right there in the background too....a squirrel, fox, and owl are all peeking out of the page just off center. It really pairs wonderfully with the tale.
In preparation for this stop on the tour, I was offered the chance to post a special feature of my choosing. (Oh, how I love creative freedom!) After thinking long and hard (okay, somewhat long, but definitely hard), I thought...why not ask what I'm almost certain my readers will be thinking when they read about this book? So, here it is....the answer straight from the author herself!
What was your inspiration for writing this book?
Last summer I had made an appointment with Tilbury (House) to come in and discuss some new concepts and ideas I had about another book. I had a couple of ideas that I really liked. The very night before my meeting we had an incredible first time Black Bear visit in the moonlight just at dawn in our backyard that was both exciting and frightening. I went into my meeting with Jennifer Bunting, Audrey Maynard, and Karen Fiske. I felt very comfortable talking to them about my new ideas, but was still bubbling over with excitement about the bear visit that it seemed to be prominent in our conversation. They were quiet as they listened to all of my story summaries. Then after a pause, they thought we should do the story of the bear visit. I felt so unsure how I would make a story beyond the event of that evening he visited us. Then after a while, and encouraging calls from Audrey and Jennifer, it became clear to pose a position from the bear’s point of view. My research about bears habitat, food, and family life consumed me. Then I put myself in a 8ish year old boy’s body and included the very animals I have and love, keeping it based on a true story.
Thanks for that wonderful insight! I myself had a brief encounter with a black bear when I was younger. We lived in the mountains at the time and I was standing out waiting for the school bus. This BIG black bear comes out of the trees right across the street from where I was and starts lumbering across the street. It was maybe 15 - 20 feet from me....we were basically separated by a row of hedges. Needless to say...yup, that's about as close as I want to get to a bear in the wild. Beautiful creatures, but they need their space too!
*Winners will be announced on October 31st. U.S./Canada addresses only, please.
Option 2: On the Blog Tour!
Do you love animals? Ever encountered a bear? Leave your comments on these questions, the tour, and/or the entire post for your chance to win big! NINE lucky winners will be drawn from all of those who leave comments on the participating tour posts from (October 16-30) to win one of the following prizes:
- An original sketch from Thanks to the Animals
Many will enter....many will win! (sorry, I always wanted to say that...yay for contests and great books!) I hope you enjoyed the second book tour to grace our fair blog site and be sure to enter the contest! Both the author (Rebekah Raye) and the publishing house (Tilbury House) are reachable through Twitter (again, who isn't?), so feel free to drop them a line (or technically a 140 character of less post, but you know what I mean).
Until next time....happy reading!