Coco, an orphaned bear cub born in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, is heartbroken to leave her canine friends, Molly, Rags, and Pupsie. But as Babou, the adult male bear who cares for her, explains, it is time to find a mama bear to adopt Coco and teach her how to live as a free, wild bear.
Babou and Coco set out on a perilous journey—with close encounters with a mountain lion and an intimidating group of male bears. Eventually, they meet Good Mama, who adopts Coco. But the adjustment is tough. Coco has a lot to learn about being a “real” bear! Plus, she misses her friends, and her stepsister resents her.
The very young readers will enjoy the beautiful full-page illustrations. The older ones will relish reading about Coco’s first hibernation with her adopted family in a cave full of bats; a sweet reunion with her canine friends, and many other adventures as she matures and eventually has a family of her own. Even parents will appreciate retired teacher Mahoney’s fascinating story of interspecies friendship. Experiencing adoption, stepfamilies, bullying, and moving away from friends, Coco offers a mirror of readers’ own lives. This sweet but realistic tale of survival opens a unique window to the intricate world of wild and domesticated animals.
Indie Book Review – Star IR rating - COCO’s a great adventure. But, it’s also a story that gives kids a chance to explore how they feel about being sad or scared or losing a loved one. COCO shows that love can come from a variety of people who take on the role of caregiver. Books designed for reading aloud benefit from a cadence that reflects the tenor of the story. Mahoney captures the sweetness of Coco’s adventure with lovely, light sentences. When danger comes close, the prose tightens, and hijinks are highlighted with words that bounce about as Coco scampers her way through the mountains. Children and adults will love the time spent reading this book together. The travels of COCO and Babou lift the spirits and warms the heart – like a wonderful children’s book should.
“An engaging tale of bears from the animals’ perspective.” – Kirkus Reviews
Format: 8 x 10 Color Paperback, 96 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Jun 30, 2018)
Genre: JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Bears