The Seal Garden – Nicholas Read

Photography – Ian McAllister

This is the second of the My Great Bear Rainforest series that I’ve read. Having previously fallen in love with A Bear’s Life I looked forward to reading The Seal Garden. Once again Ian McAllister’s photography is gorgeous! I noted (and appreciated) in the fine print at the beginning of the book that there has been no digital manipulation of the images.

Although this book is nonfiction the conversational tone and story about a storm and what the animals do to protect themselves during it pull the reader in. I liked the link between this book and A Bear’s Life, where we’re told how the animals of the forest will be taking cover during the storm before the seal garden is introduced. The story of the protection that the seal garden provides seals and other smaller animals from predators such as orcas gives readers an interesting overview into the lives of these beautiful mammals.

This book is for readers from 5 to 8 years and both the writing style and content are appropriate for this age group. When the orcas came on the scene I was personally dreading a scene out of a David Attenborough documentary (you know the type I’m referring to) but am pleased to report that no seals are harmed in the narrative or photographs in this book. Phew! 😅

In some photos you get the impression that the seals know all about cameras and are hamming it up for the photographer. In others I just about melted as I gazed into their huge, dark eyes. 😍 I don’t have a favourite photo of the seals because they’re just so darn loveable.

I do, however, have a favourite orca photo. It shows two orcas, one with its head above water. The composition and lighting are perfect. The movement of the orcas is evident through the ripples in the water and the fine spray in the air above them. It’s a truly stunning photo.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Orca Book Publishers for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

When storms roar and orcas are on the prowl, it’s the seal gardens of the Great Bear Sea that provide safety and shelter to sea lions, otters, a variety of seals and other sea mammals. Ian McAllister’s glorious photographs reveal the beauty and mystery of this rarely seen place of refuge. This is the third title in the My Great Bear Rainforest series, following Wolf Island and A Bear’s Life

A Bear’s Life – Nicholas Read

Photography – Ian McAllister

I adore this book! Written in a conversational tone, this book would be perfect for parents to read to their younger children and for older children to read to themselves. With enough information to capture your interest but without the information overload that leaves you bored, A Bear’s Life would be a fantastic resource to assist children writing school reports and will be sure to teach their parents new information as well.

Following a year in the life of British Columbia’s black bears, grizzly bears and spirit bears, the words are complemented by spectacular photography. You almost feel as though you could reach out and touch the bears in some of the images. The changes in layout and the scatterings of bear paw prints throughout the book work together, unlike some children’s nonfiction books where the layout on each page remains the same and becomes stale by the end. There’s a great balance between words and images, and there aren’t any pages that look cluttered.

Thank you very much to NetGalley and Orca Book Publishers for the opportunity to read this book. I’d recommend this book to children and parents alike, and imagine it being used in classrooms, as well as public and school libraries. I’ll be looking out for more books in this series.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Black bears, grizzly bears, and spirit bears all make their home in the Great Bear Rainforest. A Bear’s Life uses Ian McAllister’s stunning photographs to follow these beautiful animals through a year in the British Columbia wilderness–catching fish, eating berries, climbing trees and taking long naps.

A Bear’s Life is the second in the My Great Bear Rainforest series.