Nature is full of many beautiful things to see, from a mountain towering above a lush green forest, to a tiny yellow-bellied sap sucker pecking away at a tree. All of these wonderful sights have names, and B is for Bear is here to teach children the alphabet using some of them. Author Hannah Viano does a fantastic job of both writing and illustrating a book that will share with your child an early joy of both nature and of reading.
The book itself is hardbound and sturdy enough to hold up to the beating that books can take when they are well-loved. The cover and back of the book have a matte background with a glossy finish that is not only visually appealing, but also provides some texture to grab a young child’s attention. The front and back inside covers have a soothing double-page picture that gives the whole product a higher production value then many similarly sized books.
Hannah Viano’s artwork fits the nature-based idea of the book well. The colors she uses are beautiful pastel earth-tones that pair nicely with the paper cutout illustrations. The cutout illustrations remind me of woodblock prints. The artwork stands on its own, and could be framed and hung on the wall of a child’s room. By the same token, this book doesn’t just have to be for children, it would make for a lovely coffee table book to be flipped through and enjoyed by adults for the art.
Whether as a gift for soon-to-be parents that love the outdoors, or for a young child who enjoys animals and climbing trees, B is for Bear is a lovely addition to anyone’s bookshelf. Read it with your child at bedtime while crickets chirp and the stars shine, or as a mid-afternoon break, where the beautiful images will capture their imagination and make them want to explore our Pacific Northwest on their own.
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