I LOVE THIS BOOK. Jill Greenberg previously did Monkey Portraits, and decided to turn her camera on bears. She worked with trained bears, all of whom have experience in movies and TV – she includes each bear’s bio in the back. The book has an introduction where Ms. Greenberg talks about her experience working with the bears, then the rest of the book is devoted to the bear portraits, with various quotes sprinkled about. The quotes come from a variety of sources, and they enhance the reader’s enjoyment of the photos.
Ms. Greenberg is skilled with bringing out a human-like quality in the bears, while also including photos that remind you that these are fierce animals who you would not want to encounter in the wild, nor attempt to own as a pet. Her story in the intro about working with the polar bear reinforces the idea that while these particular bears are trained, they aren’t docile puppies. The portraits are gorgeous, and it is as if you can almost stroke their fur right on the page.
This is a book I will return to again and again to admire the animals and Ms. Greenberg’s skill. It will be enjoyed by all ages – anyone who is fond of animals and the art of portraits.
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