The Great Bear, by Libby Gleeson & Armin Greder

Once there was a bear.
A circus bear.
A dancing circus bear.

The seemingly simple text and progression of this classic picture book belie the many layers of meaning presented both in the story and the wonderful illustrations. Telling the tale of a mistreated dancing bear who spends her day in a cage and her nights performing for a crowd who may clap and cheer but also throw stones and poke her, before she seizes an opportunity to break free and reach for the stars, this is also a story about humanity and the importance of individual freedom.

From the award winning pairing of author Libby Gleeson and illustrator Armin Greder, this book was first released in 1999, and was shortlisted for the Children’s book of the Year Awards in 2000, and winner of the Bologna Ragazzi Award in the same year. It has now been given a new life being rereleased with back of book biographies and comment by both creators, as part of the Walker Classics series.

Perfect for classroom study, this is also a gem for individual reading – and reflection.

The Great Bear

The Great Bear, by Libby Gleeson and Armin Greder
This edition Walker Books, 2010

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.