Joy Sun Bear spends his days running through the rainforest, eating figs and honey, and teasing his sister. But everything changes when animals escaping the destruction of another forest arrive near his home.
If adjusting to new strangers wasn’t challenging enough, sacred figs go missing and chaos erupts when rumors of a curse begin to spread. To help restore peace in the rainforest, Joy sets out on an adventure filled with illusions, danger, and a mystical stone.
This is the first book in a series of adventures featuring a bear named Joy. Set in the tropical rainforest of Sumatra, readers are rapidly propelled into a nonstop fantasy adventure. Joy will learn a lot about himself and teach his readers about courage, bravery, and standing up for themselves and others. Joy meets an assortment of magical characters, an exotic bird, a magical frog, orangutans, and a trickster fox to name a few. Joy teaches readers the importance of family relationships, stewardship of Mother Earth, and respect for creatures of other cultures. Readers are exposed to the good and bad of humans as well as the inner struggles faced within oneself. The color illustrations move the story along for younger readers and help to illuminate the hidden storylines. The chapter book runs close to two hundred pages, so it might be a challenge for beginning readers who might want to approach it in several phases; it would make an excellent teacher read aloud book to discuss in the classroom. Recommended audience is for ages six through ten, though I would classify it more as a middle-grade selection. I am looking forward to reading the next tale and following Joy’s growth journey.
I thought this book was a great adventure story, following Joy who is a Sun Bear. He has a quest to complete, and who doesn't enjoy a good quest book? I think the suspense and foreshadowing of the quest are middle grade appropriate, and I think children (in the Middle Grade age) will enjoy reading about Joy. There's some funny lines, and Joy is easy to relate to. The accompanying illustrations enhance the reading experience of this book and feel as bright as Joy. I also really like the learning material in the back-- I think the kids who read this book can pretty effortlessly execute a lot of the suggestions in the back of the book. Overall, I recommend this book to parents and educators who are looking for an Middle Grade quest book or a book about empathy/refugees/the environment.
The rainforest is in an uproar. There are no figs on the honored fig tree and humans are destroying the forest leaving animals displaced. Joy befriends Ayu, a young orangutan, hoping to find shelter in a new part of the forest. Ayu left her home quickly, leaving her prized possession, a blue amber, behind. Joy’s attempts to advocate for the new arrivals only causes more problems. With the help of magical creatures, Joy is able to help Ayu’s family and thwart the trickster who has put a spell on the fig tree. With engaging and colourful illustrations, Joy Sun Bear is a beautiful story about inclusion, diversity and accepting those who are different.
If this is the first book in a series, we cannot wait to see what's to come! Interesting facts about the plants and animals of Sumatra are cleverly woven throughout this fiction story that explores important issues such as deforestation and refugees. Ideas for taking action as a family or a class are offered in the back of the book, and a kid-friendly website for exploring further is also available. Detailed (and lovable) characters, a suspenseful plot, and colorful illustrations make this book a great read aloud. We highly recommend it!
From the minute you start reading you're drawn into the storyline! It is an action-packed children's book with a global environmental message. Joy will capture the hearts of young and old with his bravery, and kindness. My 10 year old especially loves the colors of the illustrations, and of course, he loves Joy, too! A must-read for children of all ages and an excellent read-aloud for little ones as well.
The book we all need to read right now! It’s both adventurous and an educational great story. Joy teaches readers the importance of protecting nature. He is such a joyful curios character :-) so much fun. Very inspiring book for children and adults with vibrant and beautiful illustrations. Highly recommended.
This book addresses a lot of issues close to my heart. The refugee crisis, the rain forests being a few. It's a book I would want my kids to read for sure. I'm sure there are a lot more books coming up and I can't wait
When choosing a book to read to a special needs group it needs to meet specific criteria for many reasons.
First and foremost it must meet a diverse set of challenges spanning from hearing, cognitive, language, and the children themselves.
Is the message in this book interpretable? Will it be comprehensible and enjoyable? Adaptable to meet mandated standards as well?
“The Adventures of Joy Sun Bear,” (this will sound a bit corny), but “Joy Sun Bear” was a ‘Joy’ to sign, modify, and read!
Watching the kids expressions and excitement as Joy Sun Bear faced the many obstacles he encountered throughout the rainforest! He became their hero and role model. Joy’s bravery, kindness, and determination shine through with everything he comes up against to do the make the right choices and help others!
The natural beauty of this book also made it a pleasure to read, sign, and teach!
We also found the general education students joining us as they watched the excitement grow through the signing hands of the special education kids. That says it all to me about a book! When a story can bring ALL children together, it creates an inclusive setting and brings such ‘Joy’ to the hearts of students. They forget they are learning!
It has been quite some time to be able to just revel in a book that spoke to everyone. “The Adventures of Joy Sun Bear,” is a timely and much-needed story and resource for today and every day!
I highly recommend “Joy Sun Bear,” for all students. This treasure teaches tolerance, kindness, empathy, bravery, respect, inclusion, etc., not only on a global level but also on a community one.
The Adventures of Joy Sun Bear is such a delight to read for adults and children alike. The illustrations are colorful, powerful and make you smile. Children will love the magical characters who are part of the story with Joy, the Sun Bear. We learn so much about courage, love, and friendship with others who are unlike us. What a journey the little bear takes with his magical friends and foes as well. The relationship he has with his sister is so real; children will relate to them in a big way. This book has many lessons on respect for the environment and others sharing the planet with us. The story features refugees looking for a new home and helping them allows little Joy to learn so much about himself and his own courageousness. The story’s lessons are presented in a fun and colorful way. The kids may not realize they are learning while reading it. I highly recommended this story and look forward to the next installment about Joy.
A charming, early-middle-grade book perfect for reading at home or for use in the classroom.
Kids will enjoy the combination of well-written adventure, humor, and magic. Parents and teachers will appreciate the gentle lessons about treating oneself, other people (and animals), and the environment with respect, as well as the timely message of compassion toward refugees. I found the writing to be engaging, clever, and thoughtful. The bright, cartoony illustrations every few pages express characters’ emotions with humor and charm.
Readers and their grown-ups will find plenty to discuss as well as simple actions they can take to reduce deforestation and help refugees in the back pages. While waiting for the next book in the series, kids can also check out free coloring pages and a crossword puzzle or learn more about Sumatra through Joy’s travel journal, which includes geography, country facts, food, culture, animals, and more with a craft, recipe, and coloring activity.
The Adventures of Joy Sun Bear: The Blue Amber of Sumatra is so well illustrated, fun, exciting, educational and so much more! A great read at any age! The reader is brought into the story from the beginning, and quickly becomes a part of Joy’s adventure and his circle of whimsical friends. The journey is magical, the lessons are abundant, and the education is invaluable. I am looking forward to Joy Sun Bears next adventure!
Joy Sun Bear feels bad for not being able to help his friend who has been driven out of his home by humans chopping down his forest home. When he walks away, he finds the chance to do something after all, with the help of a few friends he meets and a bit of magic. The Trickster tries to outwit Joy at every turn. Many of the characters can morph into different beings, which can make it tricky to know exactly who is who.
I read this book to my daughter over the course of a week. It follows a bear called Joy who goes on a brave adventure in order to help her friends. Full of magic and colourful characters, this was a very entertaining read which also included some wonderful illustrations. As a parent I especially appreciated the effort that the author has gone to at the books conclusion to include educational information of deforestation and refugees. I look forward to reading more books in this series.
I purchased this book for a family friend's daughter and decided to read it myself first! It was truthfully a little hard to put down. The characters are very engaging, beautifully drawn and, although the book is written mainly with children as its primary audience, the themes of compassion and openness to other cultures are universal themes for any age to enjoy. Can't recommend highly enough!
This was a well written book. My grandkids (7,8&9) enjoyed it. My grandson really enjoyed the pictures. The wording was simple enough for the new reader to help read and the story held the oldest ones attention.
My children absolutely adore this book. Reading literature is so important to the development of a child's mind, and I cannot think of thing I would rather do then sit down to read to them in the evenings. Imagination and growth are so vital in those so young.