White Spirit Bear
Tess (Grandma Tess) Tessiere, White Spirit Bear, (Surrey, B.C. Canada: Hancock House, 2000.
This is a book that was specially prepared for the Roots and Shoots program of the Jane Goodall Foundation. The program is especially strong in Canada where children and adults are educated about the world and tis unique creatures through the educational work of the group. This small book is fascinating in that it contains two sets of text, one to be read to or by younger children and another to be read by youth and adults. Both texts tell the story of the Spirit Bears that inhabit the rainforest of northwest British Columbia. Spirit bears are black bears that have white fur. They are not albino, nor are they polar bears, but rather a unique variation on the common bears that are found all around the Rocky Mountain west. Black or brown b ears come in a variety of colors but the unique genetic variation that makes for these bears seems to be restricted to a relatively small area. Fortunately that area is isolated and not frequently visited by humans.
There are native legends about the spirit bears that go back hundreds of years. These legends come to live with the stunning and beautiful photographs that are in this book. It is an easy read and a beautifully executed book.