Reviewed by Harry Reynolds, AK Dept of Fish and Game International Bear News, Feb 2001, p. 33
This book well fulfills its purpose to arouse the interest of readers, ages 9 to 16 years, about what makes bears unique. Based on very good questions about bear biology from young readers, it presents interesting and accurate information on each of the eight bear species. The questions, heavily illustrated with photos, are separated into eight subject groups: Great Bears, How Bears Live, The Bear's Body, the Bear's Senses, Eating Habits, Bear Reproduction, Self-Defense, and Bears and People.
In the Great Bears chapter, questions include: How many different kinds of bears are there? Which species is the largest and the smallest? How do scientists classify bears? The How Bears Live chapter, answers Where in the world do bears live? with text and a range map. Which bear is most common? is answered in numerical and distributional terms - the responses are designed to help students think critically. The Bears and People chapter dealt mostly with conservation and research. Its brief treatment of bear attacks was probably purposeful. However, because it is the most common fear of humans in bear country, it could have been more fully addressed.
The simple and straightforward questions are answered with enough detail to interest, not bore readers and provide a good understanding of bear biology and conservation issues. Most books like this suffer from inadequate or misinterpreted information - this one does not. This is an excellent book for youth, and most adults would learn from it as well.