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Big Bear Hug [Hardcover]

Nicholas Oldland
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 16.95
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2009
A huge bear is wandering through the forest - but wait a minute! Who's that he's hugging? A beaver? And a moose? And a bird? And a tree? Welcome to the world of Big Bear Hug, a contemporary fable about a bear who has an appetite for hugging everything in sight - even creatures that bears have been known to eat. One day, the benevolent bear meets up with a human. This human proceeds to do something the bear cannot understand: he raises his axe and begins to cut down a tree. Suddenly the bear doesn't feel like hugging anymore and must make a difficult decision on how to stop this destruction in his forest. The environmental message of Big Bear Hug is both funny and powerful, while simple enough to engage very young children and show them the awesome power of a hug.

Frequently Bought Together

Big Bear Hug + Making the Moose Out of Life + The Busy Beaver
Price For All Three: CDN$ 36.72

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Product Details

Product Description

Quill & Quire

This first picture book by artist and filmmaker Nicholas Oldland is a warm-hearted fable for the very young. Issues of conservation, confrontation, and love for all living things are spun together in the humorous and charming story of a bear who loves to hug everything – even creatures that other bears might be inclined to eat or attack. When this affectionate, tree-loving bear encounters a man with an axe looking to cut down one of the oldest, tallest, and most beautiful trees in the forest, the bear’s mood changes, but he quickly realizes that non-violent action may be just as effective as angry confrontation. Oldland tells his fable in simple but memorable prose, with unobtrusive rhyme and repetition: “Big trees. Little trees. Apple trees. Pear trees. Peach trees. This bear hugged them all.” There is delicate irony when the bear sees the woodsman spending “so much time looking at this magnificent tree that the bear thought he must love trees, too.” The logger is not demonized, but shown as somewhat naive and comically unaware. A small red bird follows the bear everywhere and participates in the action as a kind of stand-in for the child hearing the story. Like some of the startled creatures the bear hugs, we discover that big scary creatures may be benevolent; like the bear, we learn that bad intentions exist in the world, but are best counteracted by goodness and love rather than by force. Stylized trees and animals and a limited colour palate keep the focus on the words and story, and make for an attractive and appealing book.


This debut is a treat for the tree hugger in all of us.

... an attractive and appealing book.

... the book’s quick humor makes it easy to embrace.

Oldland’s rustic-styled digital artwork looks like a hip flannel pajama print ... and his pictures play sly comic foil to the earnest text.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book March 19 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My little son loves books and this is one of his favourites. I like to get him books that have a nice theme/moral component to it, and this one fits the bill.

I give him a hug every time the bear gives one of the animals a hug, and he loves it. He has also been walking around saying "bear hugs!" It's absolutely adorable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book. April 15 2010
This is a great book with a sweet message. I purchased it for my nephews (3 and 5 years old). They both love it and want it read to them repeatedly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect tree-hugging book! Dec 19 2009
This book is adorable and has a such a perfect message, especially for a budding young Buddhist - love not war. Love it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming, cute March 4 2011
My daughter picked this book out of her in-class collection of books, when she realized that the graphic on the front of the book is the (copywrited?) theme for the pyjamas we bought her at a children's store in Cobourg. Funny coincidense.

This book is simply written and very easy to follow. We are immediately drawn to the affability of the bear. What a great book, to get one or more messages across using so few words!
Book's conclusion: unforseeable and pleasant solution to an emotionally charged problem.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book with a great message March 9 2010
By J.Prather - Published on
In this great little book, we meet a bear who loves to give hugs. It's his nature! He hugs animals of all sizes, but his favorite thing to hug are trees. When a man comes in to cut down one of his beloved trees, bear has a cathartic moment and realizes that even though he wants to eat the man, it's not in his nature, so he hugs him instead. Of course this causes the man to run away as fast as he can - problem solved. A simple little story about hugs. At first reading, I thought wow, the bear wants to eat the man? That's a little intense... As it turns out, it adds just the right bit of tension to an otherwise cuddly story. The illustrations are rather plain, but I think the author did a good job conveying the animals terrified expressions when the bear hugs them, and the bear is very relatable and not too scary. The green theme is obvious and not a bad little lesson, but it's the hugging theme that I liked the best. It worked well for small group sharing and the kids really enjoyed it when I asked them to find someone to give a "bear hug". My only wish for this book is that it had been bigger. The small size is great for lap sharing and for little hands but not great for groups. I want a bigger version! Still a big recommend.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book sure to appeal to kids age 5 and up Oct. 19 2009
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Written and illustrated by Nicholas Oldland, "Big Bear Hug" is a joyous romp of a story about a bear who loves everything and everyone so much that he gives them all big bear hugs. he even hugs snakes! His favorite thing to hug is trees, all kinds. When he finds a lumberman starting to chop down the largest, most beautiful tree in the forest, he feels something very different from love for the man. Try as he might, he cannot bring himself to attack the man. Instead, he does what he does best: he HUGS him. So ends the fantastical tale of a bear who loves trees (and everyone). All the original colorful illustrations are artwork that was rendered in Photoshop. They are very effective in delivering the message between the lines of text, which is set in Animated Gothic. All in all, "Big Bear Hug" is a book sure to appeal to kids age 5 and up.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story about a big, huge hugging bear who protects the trees Sept. 19 2009
By M. Talalay - Published on
Kiwi Magazine Review:
Huge hugging bear coming your way! The illustrations in this book are absolutely priceless; all sorts of animals find themselves wrapped in a huge hairy hug, whether they like it or not (their faces humorously tell of their displeasure). The kind bear just can't stop hugging. That it, until he meets up with an ax-wielding human. He is just about to eat him but decides to hug him instead. The human runs as fast as he can, and the bear gives the tree a giant hug. This is my new favorite children's book for its entertainment value, aesthetics and a bit of a green message.
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Bear Feb. 26 2014
By maria - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Book was for my grand kids and they loved it and loved me reading it over and over and like to pick it up
5.0 out of 5 stars big bear hug Feb. 16 2014
By 4thcliffmama - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Love this book. Environmental consciousness, readability, great art, understanding of the fact that each person has her own nature, peace-loving. Has been one of our child's favorite stories from age 2 til current age 5.
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