When I found out that Europa Editions, one of my favourite publishers in the world, also publishes picturebooks, I bought two from my favourite writers/artists. Consider this Part One of Two of my Europa Editions picturebook special.
The Miracle Of The Bears
Written and Illustrated by: Wolf Erlbruch
Published by: Europa Editions, 2006 ISBN: 1933372214 (ISBN13: 9781933372211).
Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.
I have fallen in love with Wolf Erlbruch’s art since I read his The Big Question. And since I often hunt down all the picturebooks of creators that capture my fancy, I made sure that I bought a copy of this one.
The story begins with a bear waking up from hibernation, famished and extremely thin, after six months of sleeping. Soon enough, he filled out and became hungry for something else: he wanted to be a papa bear. The problem is, he doesn’t know how to become one. And so, he shouted it out into the expanse of the forest, asking: “Can somebody tell me how one goes about having a bear cub?”
He received quite a number of responses: some more absurd than the others. A rabbit told him that babies grow in between two small turnips in a turnip field, while a magpie advised him to lay an egg and “you brood it.”
While he was clearly in doubt about the advice that he received, he was not one to miss an opportunity. Yet, despite his closely following what the other animals had to say, he still did not have a bear cub. The stork even made an appearance here and unceremoniously debunked everything that most creatures thought it does:
The bear was about to lose hope, until he found a gentle-voiced pretty girl bear who also wanted to have bear cubs:
And the rest, as they say, is a miracle. This is a gently-paced picturebook that would resonate with young children who like to find out how babies are made, or are expecting a sibling sometime soon.