Saturday, December 22, 2018

Review - The Hunter and the Bear

The Hunter and the Bear
by Caitlin Timmerman
Date: 2017
Publisher: East of the Web
Reading level: C
Book type: short story
Pages: 4
Format: e-book

Snow fell steadily in the wild woods of Siberia...

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Parts of this felt like it could've been a really cute illustrated children's book. But, again, we're anthropomorphizing real bears without enough demarcation between fantasy and reality... which I don't think is a great idea for kids.

At times, this story also felt way too simple. Man meets bear. Man gets stuck in bear's house by a storm. Man and bear chat. Man and bear become BFFs and live happily ever after. There really isn't much of a plot. And the part where they both explain why they hurt each other is silly; hunters don't hunt solely because bears attack (which also makes the reason bears attack--because hunters hunt them--kind of weak).

This story is set in Siberia, and there are some nice touches of that Russian flavour with the names. However, then the bear and the hunter are playing "O! Susanna" (written in the story as "O Susannah") on their harmonicas. Why aren't they playing Russian folk tunes? Why are they playing American minstrel songs by Stephen Foster?!

The writing is okay for the most part, but the author has some bad punctuation habits. I'm also not clear on the target age range for this story; it was in the children's section, but it used some fairly advanced words.

Overall, this isn't bad, but it isn't great. I think it would work better as a picture book (especially once those anatopisms are cleaned up).

Plot: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Pace: 2/5
Writing & Editing: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall Rating: 1.71 out of 5 ladybugs

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