THE BEARS ON HEMLOCK MOUNTAIN by Alice Dalgleish is an easy read and Helen Sewell's line drawings in black and blue make decorative borders with a nice feel for the Pennsylvania German decorative art quality. Its a lovely folk tale of Jonathan an eight year old boy, pretty small to be sent to his Aunt's house on the other side of Hemlock Mountain to borrow a big iron pot needed for the stew that would feed Jonathan his parents and twenty of their relatives. Legend has it there are bears on Hemlock Mountain. It could be dangerous. But, with family comes responsibility and Jonathan and his mother prefer to believe and repeat reassurance to themselves, "There are no bears, no bears, no bears, no bears at all." Jonathan found he had friends in the squirrels and the birds and the rabbits and he made it to Aunt Emma's safely feeling big and noble and brave. All would have been well if he hadn't eaten too many of his aunt's cookies and drunk too much milk and slept too long. He was late and rushed off without borrowing the big iron pot so he had to go back. As his mom had told him, it was the biggest iron pot he ever laid his eyes on. Now he felt very small but mustered his strength and bravery and started back over Hemlock Mountain with the pot. It was already dark. He was suppose to be home. What he discovered about the bears of Hemlock Mountain makes the climax of a story that is good read aloud material. Myra was captivated by the suspense! This is a chapter book but there isn't a place to stop!
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