Wow, what a great picture book to commence my 2016 collaboration with Bloomsbury Publishers! A Beginners’s Guide to Bearspotting is a brilliant and whimsical story which will undoubtedly appeal to even the youngest of adventurers!

A Beginner’s Guide to Bearspotting

Bearspotting is a dangerous business – you ought to take it seriously, you know.

So here’s what you need to know for starters – black bears are dangerous and black, brown bears are dangerous and brown. Although sometimes black bears can be a little brown, and brown bears can be a little black. Are you following? You really need to focus here. If you do, this guide will tell you all you need to know when walking in BEAR COUNTRY. Don’t leave home without it. Are you ready? Good! Let’s go …

Yes, you’ve guessed  – an aspiring bear spotter ventures into bear country . . . But coming face-to-face with the furry creatures themselves, whether black or brown, can be notoriously dangerous, and our adventurer (accompanied by a trusty teddy bear) might need to use some unconventional means to stay out of trouble and avoid being… well, eaten!

Ready for action!


Very cleverly written as a cross between a narrative and a field journal, A Beginner’s Guide to Bearspottting  introduces us to the main character, a fully equipped backpack-toting, balaclava- and plaid-jacket–clad child, ready for action. When not one but two bears are encountered, we realise that it takes more than a guidebook to face up to your fears—and not everything is as dangerous as it might initially seem.

Creatively, this book is a winner! I absolutely love the illustrations of David Roberts in this book, especially his mix of blue with largely autumnal colours, alongside the clever use of graph-paper backgrounds, different fonts and ‘turned-up’ corners which reveal whimsical asides! Michelle Robinson’s blend of chatty and informal narrative, mixed with instructions, warnings and suggestions works brilliantly too!

The binoculars are out in our house, and I have two children keen to spot anything and everything! Our adventures are limited to our garden at present, but who knows what we might find when we broaden our horizons!

This book is published by Bloomsbury on 11th February 2016, copies can be ordered in advance.


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