The Nightingale And The Bear

At its heart,
this is a book about standing up for yourself and making sense of unfathomable
events, such as war. 

The book has been created to foster a sense of resilience
and the impetus to stand up for yourself/others if you feel there has been
injustice. It has the added bonus of generating a sense of optimism and purpose
in the face of great odds.

Standing up for
yourself, and others, can really matter.

These words
grace the cover, along with a bear and nightingale, atop the respective blue
and yellow of Ukraine’s flag.

The book tells
the story of a small group of nightingales who fend off an angry, marauding
bear. Their tree is savagely mutilated and their songs stop for a while, but
they know that the other animals of the forest believe in them as much as they
believe in themselves. Knowing this, and gathering together to defend their
home, gives them strength.

Eventually, the
angry bear with its terrible roar and nasty war-like machine, retreats from the
forest. The nightingales are battered and bruised, and their tree is very
broken, but they keep going.

Despite such
challenging subject matter, the illustrations in this book are quite beautiful.
Created by various artists the world over including children and Ukrainian artists,
they are deeply symbolic and poignant. Pictures of the sinister, angry bear are
not so dark in nature or colour as to frighten young children, but their intent
is very clear.

Even with numerous
illustrators, there is a consistency of style and colour palette throughout
that allows the story to flow and progress. An incredible beauty and sense of
sunshine along with a new day are to be found in the latter illustrations,
which support the idea of moving forward in life.

The notes front
and back will assist those adults endeavouring to have conversations about
bullying, fear and war, and will hopefully support the cultivation of greater
understanding on all fronts around the subjects of empathy, care and

Created solely
to raise funds for humanitarian agencies around the heartbreaking Ukraine
crisis – and applicable to any other number of current world situations –  contributors to this book have offered their
time and effort without charge. All profits will go to the Disasters Emergency
Committee (DEC).

Title: The Nightingale And The Bear
Author: Dorien van’t Ende
Illustrators: Various
Publisher: Newsouth Books, $16.99
Publication Date: September 2022
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781914611049
For ages: 3 – 8
Type: Picture Book

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