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Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite
The Legend of the Spirit Bear is a children’s book by Glenda Higgins, starring a white bear named Sydney. Having been a long-term inhabitant of the zoo, Sydney never had much chance to learn the ways of the world. One day, his caretaker mysteriously dozes off while feeding him. Goaded by a raven named 'the Black Blamer' and a heron named Ernie, Sydney escapes from the zoo. The trio embarks upon an adventure that takes them to the snow-capped mountains of the north. Surprisingly enough, every person or animal they meet during their journey seems to revere Sydney, assuring him that he is instrumental in fulfilling an age-old legend. How will Sydney complete his quest, considering he is completely clueless about the workings of the real world?
The characters we meet in Glenda Higgins’s book, both human and non-human, are endearing. Not only will young readers delight in meeting so many different animals, but their conversations will also present opportunities to gather knowledge about the natural world. Their hilarious and oddly human expressions with words like “bingo” or “geeze” make us laugh heartily. The colorful illustrations bring the animals and their habitats alive. On a more serious note, The Legend of the Spirit Bear delivers a poignant message about the mindless destruction of the earth by humankind and discusses the measures to prevent this. Since the target audience for this book is children aged 7 to 12 years, this will undoubtedly educate them about environmental issues from an early age.