A Brave Bear by Sean Taylor & Emily Hughes (Walker Books)

1235460_10153932964960446_7308416318429983273_nWe were so incredibly lucky to be treated to a preview of this book last year at the Walker blogger’s event.

Maria Tunney, senior picture book editor at Walker, provided us with some drool-worthy artwork from Emily Hughes and we were given an insight into Sean Taylor‘s writing processes for the book.

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A Brave Bear‘ is such a tenderly written piece of narrative and the warm, soothing illustrations provide the perfect backdrop, as this story plays out before the reader.

An inquisitive bear cub and his father set out to the river in search of some respite from the scorching hot sun. “Everything was hot. The sun was hot. The air was hot. even the shade was hot.

12718399_10153932965035446_6374272685818431965_nHughes adopts an earthy palette, complemented with the glowing, orange skies. You can almost feel the warmth emanating from each spread.

The expression of the young bear tells a story all of its own, as his tenacity carries him on through the varied landscape despite fear, pain and trepidation.

12920434_10153932965005446_6633254817685755597_nThe journey is a long one, filled with dangerous climbs and treacherous traverses, but the brave bear finds the grit and determination deep within to reach his goal.

The father’s role is one of support and encouragement, as he too learns to let go and invites the bear cub to make his own mistakes and begin to make his own decisions to stand by.

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Taylor‘s expertly evocative text will ring true for any parent and provides the perfect story to be shared time and time again.

This is without doubt one of the most heart-warming reads of the year, coupled with Hughes’ signature intricate illustrations, there’s nothing we don’t love about ‘A Brave Bear.

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