Bloomsbury, Book Reviews, Childrens Book Illustration, David Roberts, Michelle Robinson

A Beginner’s Guide to BEAR SPOTTING

A Beginner’s Guide to BEAR SPOTTING, was published on 11th February 2016 by Bloomsbury. Written by Michelle Robinson and illustrated by David Roberts, this book is a must for any young bear-spotting adventurer!

Said the Mudwaffler… ‘Bears are best, but this book is better… utterly FANTABULOUS’


The Story

Going for a walk in BEAR country?

You’d better make sure you know your bears. 

Our story begins with a cautionary note and a happy-faced bear-spotting adventurer, complete with a backpack, and – most importantly – a bear-spotters guidebook. Within its pages we are introduced to a black bear, a brown bear, and…

A Beginners guide to Bear Spotting - Mudwaffler (3)

…a teddy bear?! Someone isn’t taking this guide very seriously!

What follows, is a note or two about black bears and brown bears- things to look our for in case we should come across them…

Black bears are dangerous and BLACK. Brown bears are dangerous and BROWN.

Although sometimes brown bears can be a little BLACK…

…and black bears can be a little BROWN.

It’s a bit confusing, right? But it’s OK, as the chances of actually seeing a bear, are slim…

A Beginners guide to Bear Spotting - Mudwaffler (1)


Well, as it’s a black bear, the best thing to do is back away, slowly. But what if we stumble upon a brown bear too?!

A Beginners guide to Bear Spotting - Mudwaffler (4)

Well, then the best thing to do is play dead…

Although to a black bear, that’s like an invitation to dinner.

Things go from bad to worse, and quickly! What’s our young not-so-happy-faced bear-spotting adventurer to do?!

A Beginners guide to Bear Spotting - Mudwaffler (2)

Michelle Robinson has written a hugely clever text that’s both entertaining and informative in the company of bears. I was drawn in from the start on hearing the title, but the way the story is written is something else. I think this could be the beginning of a new path for picture books, and can’t wait to see what comes next from Michelle, and indeed, from her and David Roberts.

The Artwork

David is, in my opinion, one of the biggest, bestest, most influential children’s illustrators, ever. He is a creative genius, and underrated at that. He’s not only incredibly skilled at drawing, but also an all round bank of knowledge when it comes to design and execution.

David has ticked all the boxes in A Beginners Guide to Bear Spotting. The colours are gorgeous, and as usual, his line work is exquisite. The main character will be instantly recognisable for years to come (and hopeful feature in future ‘spotting guides’!?). Keep an eye out for the squirrels!

A Beginners guide to Bear Spotting - Mudwaffler

Now, being a bear himself, the Mudwaffler was a little disappointed not to feature in A Beginners Guide to Bear Spotting, but, he’s happy knowing that there aren’t any black bears or brown bears in his woods… or are there?

The lovely Michelle Robinson has featured on the Mudwaffler previously in There’s a Lion in my Cornflakes, with Jim Field – you can read all about it here.

Also, be sure to check out…

Michelle Robinson’s website:

or find her on Twitter: @MicheRobinson

David Robert’s website is in the making… but his Tumblr is packed full of treasures:


Swamp Hugs! Till the next time…

The Mudwaffler



7 thoughts on “A Beginner’s Guide to BEAR SPOTTING”

  1. What an adorable book. I bet the black and brown bear get a tad confused by the teddy bear. I just must know how the boy gets out of this sticky situation. Nice way to draw me in with suspense and develop interest for this book. You hooked me. Nice job. I love the insights regarding the art and artist.


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