Title: Bear-ology: Fascinating Bear Facts, Tales & Trivia
Author: Sylvia Dolson (Illustrated by Evelyn Kirkaldy, Photography by various)
Publisher: PixyJack Press
Copyright Date: 2009
Print Date: 2009
Pages: 185 including Recommended Resources, trivia/puzzles, recipes...
Series: This is a single title; however, a note at the very end of the book indicates there will be another printing with some new pieces...
Book Description (from back cover):
Bears have captured our imaginations for centuries. Now in this treasure trove of facts, folklore and amazing trivia, discover the history and nature of all bears, including black bears, grizzlies and polar bears. Along the way, meet some famous bears (real and not-so-real), learn about bear totems and mythologies of Native peoples and ancient cultures throughout the world, and see how bears have become embedded in our lives, from the names of night-sky constellations and sports teams to everyday words and slogan. Complete with color photos and numerous illustrations, plus helpful tips for coexisting with our furry neighbors.
I saw this on the "Something New" library shelf, and just had to pick it up. I flipped through it and thought, "I might actually be able to read this." I'm not big on non-fiction and I can't remember ever reading an entire (as opposed to a paragraph - chapter) non-fiction NOT memoir type book. So it's no surprise to me that it took me 2 months to finish this one. I would break to read fiction books throughout.
My lengthy reading time-frame doesn't mean anything regarding the interest or readability of this book — both were great. The book is loaded with interesting facts and stories. I disagree w/ the parts that assume evolution, but otherwise — it was as fascinating as the title claims. The book description above says a lot about the actual content of the book. Details about, for instance, how you can tell a black bear and a grizzly apart, how long a bear's claws are, what implications the bears hibernation might have on future medicine/health...
I think my favorite part was the "Famous Bears" sections scattered throughout the book. They included stories about a bear that played in numerous films, the teddy bear, Winnie the Pooh, and my favorite (5 pages long, but it had me crying) Voytek, the soldier bear. I shared the Voytek story and numerous other little facts with my family — I couldn't help myself. And while I didn't manage to get them all right, I managed to correctly answer most of the trivia/puzzles at the end (which means I actually retained more than I expected).
Overall, I'm glad I picked this up, I'm glad I finished it, and while I don't need it for practical purposes (I don't live near bears and won't have any money to travel near them for quite some time), it was a interesting and informative book worth the reading.