December 2010 Item of the Month

Moon Bear (Title page illustration)

Ed Young, a children’s book author/illustrator and winner of many prestigious awards including a Caldecott Medal for Lon Po Po:  a Red Riding-Hood Story from China, two Caldecott Honor Awards, and two nominations for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, has added to his Papers held in the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection.  Mr. Young was born in Tientsin, China and raised in Shanghai and Hong Kong, where he was interested in drawing and storytelling from an early age.  He moved to the U.S. in 1951 to study architecture but quickly changed his focus to art.  Mr. Young has illustrated over eighty books, many of which he also wrote. 

The 19 beautiful collage illustrations for his 2010 book, Moon Bear, written by Brenda Z. Guiberson and published by Henry Holt, are new to the NCLC and were deposited following his recent appearance at the 19th Annual Connecticut Children’s Book Fair.  Moon Bear is the story of one moon bear, or Asiatic black bear, as she goes through the annual cycle of hibernation, awakening, foraging, and procreation.   In the author’s note, Ms. Guiberson describes the tragic plight of thousands of Asiatic black bears who are imprisoned in tiny cages on bear farms throughout Asia.  For over 3,000 years bears were hunted in Asia for their gall bladders and bile, thought to cure disease.  Laws enacted in the 1980’s took steps to ban bear hunting but wild bears are still caught and farmed.  

Moon Bear (pg. 6/7 illustration)

Several organizations are working to create sanctuaries where sick bears can be treated and rehabilitated, such as Animals Asia Moon Bear Rescue Center in China.  For more information, go to  A portion of the proceeds of each book is donated to this worthwhile organization devoted to ending animal cruelty and restoring respect for animals throughout Asia.  Mr. Young says in his dedication:  “To Integrity, ‘the Spiritual Bear,’ so that we may reclaim green humanity lost to unharnessed ‘wants’ disguised as our needs.”

Terri J. Goldich, Curator, Northeast Children’s Literature Collection

2 thoughts on “December 2010 Item of the Month

  1. These illustrations are beautiful – this must have been a lovely accession to add to the collection! The book sounds really good too – think I may have found my eldest niece’s Christmas present!

  2. Wow, Moon Bear is so gorgeously illustrated. We have Lon Po Po but it scared my kids when they were little. Sometimes those folk tales can be too scary.

    He is a talented illustrator though; I will have to check out Moon Bear for my youngest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *