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The Three Snow Bears Hardcover – Sep 13 2007
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About the Author
With over thirty four million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author illustrators of children's books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.
As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real."
As a student at the Boston Museum School, she spent hours in the Museum of Fine Arts. "It was overwhelming to see the room-size landscapes and towering stone sculptures, and then moments later to refocus on delicately embroidered kimonos and ancient porcelain," she says. "I'm delighted and surprised when fragments of these beautiful images come back to me in my painting."
Travel is also a constant inspiration. Together with her husband, Joe Hearne, who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jan visits many different countries where she researches the architecture and costumes that appear in her work. "From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japanese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as a starting point for my children's books."
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Top Customer Reviews
While my son loves the pictures for their attention-grabbing qualities, I appreciate them for their ability to reflect Inuit culture. (I should note as a grad student in Anthropology, I get picky about how cultures are portrayed, so it really says something when I think someone has done an outstanding job, such as Jan Brett has done with the art in this book.)
Brett based this well-known "Three Bears" story in the Canadian North after living there herself for 3-years. (I think that is how long it said she lived there.) Moreover, she notes how the dress of the bears reflects traditional Inuit art's use of Northern animals dressed in Inuit-dress.
So, while it tells the "well known story", its situatedness in Canada's North provides an education to children of what life is like up there. For me this is much better for my child to learn from than a book depicting some blonde "Goldilocks" in a random forest, in the land of (Western) Folktales. And the ending fits the story... ;-)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
So wait... are the bears good or bad? If good, why does Aloo-ki run? If bad, why does she happily wave goodbye? Why did she still steal the boots even thought the bears helped save her dogs? Why did she need to steal the boots when clearly she already had boots of her own? How does she go from running for her life to waving a "thank you"? Am I missing pages?
I get that this is a retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I get that this is intended for children and maybe I'm over-thinking this. However, I think that stories for any age group should have a clear moral message that depicts action and consequence--perhaps even more so with kid's books. The message that remains after reading this is that 1) It is okay to shirk responsibility in favor of trivial personal needs, 2) It is okay to take things from others and 3) When you take things from other people they will remain friendly and cheerful.
Great pictures and beautifully presented overall but with lazy, morally-ambiguous story telling.