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© Illumination Arts Publishing, 2014. All rights reserved.
The Bonsai Bear
Written by Bernard Libster
Illustrated by Aries Cheung
Reading Level: Ages 6-9
Size: 8.5" x 11"
Issa and Kyomi, two celebrated Japanese artists, share a happy life together. But one thing is missing: they have always longed for children. One day, they are delighted when a friend brings them Doukeshi, an adorable orphan bear cub. Because it is forbidden to keep wild animals, Issa uses his mastery of bonsai to prevent their beloved pet from growing, so they can keep him forever.
Kyomi soon realizes that their love should not restrict Doukeshi’s growth, even if that means setting him free. It takes much longer for Issa to develop his wife’s sense of selflessness and compassion, but, in the end, he sees that the greatest love is accepting Doukeshi as a wild animal and returning him to his true nature.
Winner of the 2000 Visionary Award by the Coalition of Visionary Retailers, Bernard Libster’s Bonsai Bear touches the heartstrings of young readers, as well as parents who, like Issa, struggle with the challenge of watching as their children grow up and become more independent. Aries Cheung’s watercolor illustrations add greatly to the charm of this unique story.
About the Author
Though Bernard Libster initially intended to pursue a medical career, he decided to become a writer after spontaneously composing a poem one night. Raised in Golden's Bridge, New York, Bernie now resides in the New Jersey suburb of Hasbrouck Heights, where he works as an advertising copywriter. He enjoys writing essays, short stories, and Haiku, the Japanese form of short poetry.
About the Illustrator
Aries Cheung has been a professional illustrator for more than twenty years, specializing in oils, watercolor, pen and ink, and digital media. His graphic design talents have been utilized by numerous international companies, including IBM, Kodak, and J. Walter Thompson. Born in Hong Kong, Aries presently resides in Toronto, Canada. He has also illustrated Wings Within and Wings of Change for Illumination Arts.
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