Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain (1952)

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain. Alice Dalgliesh. Illustrated by Helen Sewell. 1952. 64 pages. [Source: Bought]

Jonathan lived in a gray stone farmhouse at the foot of Hemlock Mountain. Now Hemlock Mountain is not a mountain at all, it was a hill, and not a very big one. But someone had started calling it Hemlock Mountain, and the name had stuck. Now everyone talked about "going over Hemlock Mountain." 
It was the year when Jonathan was eight that he went over Hemlock Mountain. He was a fine big boy for his age. That was why his mother could send him over the Mountain all by himself. 

I enjoyed reading Alice Dalgliesh's The Bears on Hemlock Mountain. Jonathan, the hero, is sent on a mission by his mother over the mountain. He is to fetch his aunt's biggest iron pot and bring it back to his mother. The family--the whole family--will be coming soon, and she'll need it. The very first signs of spring are just beginning. Will there be bears on the mountain? Will they have woken up yet? Are there bears living on the mountain at all--awake or sleep?

Jonathan and his mother find themselves both dwelling on the same thought: bears. (She at home; Jonathan on his journey). Both repeat to themselves:
There are no bears on
Hemlock Mountain
No bears at all
Of course there are no bears on Hemlock Mountain
No bears, no bears, no bears, no bears at all.
His journey will take him up and down the mountain twice. Once on the way to his aunt's house. Once on the way back to his own house. Can he make it there and back before the sun sets? Or will he get distracted and into some trouble?! Will readers learn if there are bears on the mountain?

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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