Greenaway Longlist 2016 · Greenaway Nominations 2016 · Greenaway Shortlist 2016

Something About a Bear by Jackie Morris

In keeping with the apparent theme of ‘bears’ that is running throughout this year’s Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist, Jackie Morris’ Something About a Bear is a lovely journey through the lives of some of earth’s most powerful creatures.

An internationally best-selling author and illustrator, Morris uses her trademark watercolour technique in this informative and conservation-focussed picture book.  Given its more poetic (rather than narrative) writing style, I would recommend this book perhaps to older readers with an interest in the protection of animals and their environment.  That said, the book serves as a testament to the detail and craftsmanship of Morris’ work and can certainly be enjoyed by anyone and everyone.  There is something about the way the bears’ eyes have been painted that really breathes life into the illustrations, capturing the beauty of a creature that is so powerful but yet seems so gentle.

Morris’ website ( features great insights into the mind and works of a busy author/illustrator.  I’d recommend checking it out for further information about the story of how this book came to be, as well as a list of sites dedicated to conservation especially for those who might be interested in the issues Morris references throughout this book among others.

There is a non-fiction element included at the end of the book, which would appeal perhaps to those who particularly enjoy learning about the animal kingdom.  The endpapers even include a life-sized and gorgeously detailed painting of bear paws, against which readers can enjoy comparing the paws of their own.  All in all, this a lovely story to be shared between bears and cubs alike.

2 thoughts on “Something About a Bear by Jackie Morris

  1. We think this book is clever because it’s like a non-fiction story but it tells you lots of facts about bears. We learned that Black Bears are not always black, and can even be white. How weird! At the end there is a fact page about the animals as well as throughout the story. The pictures are very creative and detailed so even though they look like a story, they are realistic and ‘arty’. Some of us didn’t know that bears could catch fish so easily. A couple of us didn’t like the book because we thought it was boring but the rest of us loved it and would happily choose it from the library.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comments 4B. I really enjoyed sharing this book with you today. It was funny to learn that the white bear is called a white black bear! I was impressed that you noticed that this book did not have a contents or index. This made an interesting discussion as to whether it was a fiction or a non-fiction book. I am glad to hear that most of you loved it.


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