Booklist Reviews "Jasper's Story: Saving Moon Bears"
Booklist Online (Mar 2013)
Get ready to wipe away a few tears after reading this. Jill Robinson has dedicated her life to rescuing the bears of China who’ve been abused by those extracting bear bile for use in traditional Asian medicines. Jasper is one of them, a moon bear, held in a tiny cage for 15 years before arriving at Robinson’s center in China, called Animals Asia. At first, he is wary, even violent, but as Robinson and her team methodically integrate him into the community, Jasper becomes the poster bear for all that can be accomplished. Eventually, he’s an ambassador to newcomer bears, touching and patting them to make them feel more comfortable. The text is a bit overwritten in the beginning, but as the book follows Jasper’s progress, it settles down to a moving narrative. The sturdy acrylic illustrations are derived from van Frankenhuyzen’s photographs taken at the sanctuary, and their tracking of Jasper’s journey to wellness captures both the effort and emotion. A final two-page-spread afterword tells more about Robinson and her work.
—Ilene Cooper, Booklist Online