Vera Godley's Reviews > Brother Hugo and the Bear

Brother Hugo and the Bear by Katy Beebe
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it was amazing

I just love when picture books introduce young children to a different historical world than that which they might normally. Going way back to medieval times is unusual for books to take a young child, but Brother Hugo and the Bear does just that. Drawing from a story that has made its way through the annals of time and was found through the research of the author, the story of Brother Hugo and his encounter with the bear that digested his book.

From this story by Katy Beebe and the delightfully and true-to-history illustrations by S.D.Schindler the young reader can....
*See a form of illuminated illustration that was used in medieval books copied by monks
*Learn that books were few and far between - pretty rare, indeed - and hand written or hand copied.
*That books were written on animal skins and a little bit about the composition of ink used to write and draw
*That when errors were made, the monks would scrap them off the skin
*That a feather was used to write and draw - the tip being sharpened and dipped in the ink
*That people were accountable for mistakes - even accidental such as when the bear ate the book

The words used in the story lend authenticity (and the kids will love the difference). Examples
"It befell that on the first day of Lent...."
"..truly, the words of St. Augustine are as sweet as honeycomb to me...."
"...return the book thither."
"...Brother Hugo thought he heard lipsmacking full close behind him. Then it must be said that he walked very quickly indeed."

This delightful story shows, also, that with the daunting task Brother Hugo has of re-writing the book, his companion monks pitch in to help. Great teamwork.

I highly recommend this delightful traipse into the medieval world for the young reader. Keep in mind, that the period and the people of the book would have been monks from a Catholic monestary, but that was, after all, what much of this period of history entailed.

DISLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated for the review.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
March 22, 2016 – Shelved
March 22, 2016 – Finished Reading

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