Bear's last journey ISBN: 9780735817999
Published by North-South Books, 2003
Hare spreads the news that Bear is sick, and the animals all gather at his den to say goodbye. But Little Fox is full of questions and must go away to his special place to think about why Bear is going away. He is sad 'and also a little angry', so he must see Bear one last time. What does it mean to be dead? Little Fox asks. Bear isn't sure. It may mean just sleep or it may mean that one goes to heaven and sees all one's friends who have gone before. Bear knows he is about to discover what death is, and Little Fox must be patient before finding out because 'Life is so good.' When Bear dies, the animals gather to talk about their memories of him and to put flowers in front of his den. Little Fox is given Bear's ball to remember him by. This is a sensitive allegory about the pain of loss and the help that comes through good memories. The muted colours in the excellent illustrations add to the seriousness of the subject.