Featured Fiction, 11/18

The Bear and the People is a charming children’s book about the joys of the open road and the wonders of nature. Bearman and Brown One travel the road putting on shows in the villages: the Brown One does his bear dance and the Bearman juggles seven balls. During their travels they face many challenges, but the rewards are worth it. But when they are separated and Brown One finds himself alone, it will take all his strength to survive and learn to live again.

The author did his own illustrations which are in lovely primitive midcentury pen-and-ink style. Those reading to small children should note that at one point there are exposed breasts (topless dancers), but the illustration is definitely not what I’d call alluring in the least. A haunting, joyous ramble through the countryside, The Bear and the People is not to be missed.