Hardcover, 32 pages
Published July 7th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Welcome Home, Bear about a bear who, tired of his surroundings, goes in search of a better place to live. He tries settling in with the birds on the trees with disastrous results, with the monkeys in the tropical forests, in the icy north with the polar bears, and under the sea with various fishes. Finally he returns home with gladness in his heart having liberally proved to himself that there really is no place like home.
Il Sung Na is a South Korean artist and I believe this is his first book. The art is amazing; I particularly loved the expressions on the bear’s face as he faces less than ideal conditions. The colours are bright with a whimsical twist to them. I don’t really know enough about art to talk about it but I do know that I liked the way this picturebook is drawn. The story is simple and can be used as an introduction to animal habitats or as a springboard for discussion about homes and places children feel most comfortable.
For kids who love bears, this book will be an absolute treat. I really enjoyed it and do recommend it. Here’s a sneak preview of the art: