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The Biography of a Grizzly

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Wahb fulfills the destiny of a silvertip grizzly bear in this Bison Book reprint of Ernest Thompson Seton's classic, originally published in 1900. In vivid language and in seventy-five drawings, the author of Animal Heroes captures for a new generation of readers the freedom and danger, joy and pathos, of Wahb's life.After his mother and siblings are shot by a cattle czar, Wahb fulfills the destiny of a silvertip grizzly bear in this Bison Book reprint of Ernest Thompson Seton's classic, originally published in 1900. In vivid language and in seventy-five drawings, the author of Animal Heroes captures for a new generation of readers the freedom and danger, joy and pathos, of Wahb's life.After his mother and siblings are shot by a cattle czar, Wahb grows up alone in the mountains of northwestern Wyoming. As a cub, he collects wounds and stores up hatred for omnipresent enemies—men and beasts. But in maturity he owns the territory. His arms can "toss pine logs like broomsticks"; his paws "with one tap" can "crush the biggest bull in the range"; and his claws can "tear huge slabs of rock from the mountainside." During summers at Yellowstone National Park he is on good behavior, except for his one intimidating visit to the hotel. Now his only enemies are time and the roachback grizzly who challenges his power.


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Wahb fulfills the destiny of a silvertip grizzly bear in this Bison Book reprint of Ernest Thompson Seton's classic, originally published in 1900. In vivid language and in seventy-five drawings, the author of Animal Heroes captures for a new generation of readers the freedom and danger, joy and pathos, of Wahb's life.After his mother and siblings are shot by a cattle czar, Wahb fulfills the destiny of a silvertip grizzly bear in this Bison Book reprint of Ernest Thompson Seton's classic, originally published in 1900. In vivid language and in seventy-five drawings, the author of Animal Heroes captures for a new generation of readers the freedom and danger, joy and pathos, of Wahb's life.After his mother and siblings are shot by a cattle czar, Wahb grows up alone in the mountains of northwestern Wyoming. As a cub, he collects wounds and stores up hatred for omnipresent enemies—men and beasts. But in maturity he owns the territory. His arms can "toss pine logs like broomsticks"; his paws "with one tap" can "crush the biggest bull in the range"; and his claws can "tear huge slabs of rock from the mountainside." During summers at Yellowstone National Park he is on good behavior, except for his one intimidating visit to the hotel. Now his only enemies are time and the roachback grizzly who challenges his power.

30 review for The Biography of a Grizzly

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    I run in to grizzly bears on the trail sometimes while hiking in Glacier National Park. They always bound off in to the forest as they tend to be solitary creatures. Nevertheless these moments always leave me with a sense of wonder and appreciation for these terrifyingly beautiful creatures. Having read 2 scientific books about grizzly bears and their habitat I was impressed with how accurate ETS's information in this story was. It was fun to be able to step in to the life of a grizzly, see what I run in to grizzly bears on the trail sometimes while hiking in Glacier National Park. They always bound off in to the forest as they tend to be solitary creatures. Nevertheless these moments always leave me with a sense of wonder and appreciation for these terrifyingly beautiful creatures. Having read 2 scientific books about grizzly bears and their habitat I was impressed with how accurate ETS's information in this story was. It was fun to be able to step in to the life of a grizzly, see what he sees, and feel what he might feel.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy

    I'm reading one of the early editions with the wonderful drawings and plates. A big thank you to my sister-in-law for sending me this find.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    For those of you who know me....this is an old "Tayntor" book. It is the best book to read to kids. I LOVED this book when my dad read it to me. I've read it to my kids as well. Of course, it probably helps that we live among bears and have been to Yellowstone and the Tetons which are all referenced in the book. Our editions are from the early 1900s and the illustrations are fantastic. Not sure how they look in the modern paperbacks. Read it on your next camping trip!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    I listened to this as an audio book on my phone, and at the end found myself in tears because of it's poignancy. Biography of a Grizzly is a heartfelt and also heartbreaking tale of an orphaned cub who grows to learn the wilds of life on his own. The book addresses the impact of man on nature and Wahb's life but finds a lot of strength in not portraying all men as evil. Only a 90 minute audio book, it is definitely worth the time!

  5. 5 out of 5

    MrsSRM

    A light, short read from an interesting perspective.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kathy L. Swygman

    Very good. It was very entertaining but too short for my liking. Wish it was longer. Recommend to anyone but do not get if hoping for a long book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It would be nice if one of these animal stories had a happy ending once in a while!

  8. 4 out of 5

    P.S. Winn

    This is a great story that combines an Indian legend with adventure in the woods. I found the story fun to read and the author does a great job with the feeling of this story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    The story was great but at some parts it was boring to read

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    Was a cute read, though quite sad

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    At some point in my early childhood - probably about 60 years ago -I discovered Earnest Thompson Seton. And of course, I also found Wahb the grizzly, raggylug the rabbit, the cutthroat trout and a host of others that inhabited a wilderness I never knew existed. What wonderful, thrilling stories. I vividly remember crying at the end of Wahb's story. I don't think I understood the power of great writing and storytelling until then. Writers like Seton made me an avid reader as a child, and I've nev At some point in my early childhood - probably about 60 years ago -I discovered Earnest Thompson Seton. And of course, I also found Wahb the grizzly, raggylug the rabbit, the cutthroat trout and a host of others that inhabited a wilderness I never knew existed. What wonderful, thrilling stories. I vividly remember crying at the end of Wahb's story. I don't think I understood the power of great writing and storytelling until then. Writers like Seton made me an avid reader as a child, and I've never stopped. If you can, get your son (or daughter) to read this book and others by Seton. bettermyet, read them aloud to your children. Good luck keeping a dry eye as you do so, however!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Connie Kuntz

    Wahb (meaning White Bear) is an orphaned Grizzly Bear who learns to respect his fears, fight for peace, and trust the healing powers of a stinky hot-spring. The story is aptly titled The Biography of a Grizzly because it is about the life of a Grizzly. Seton writes with a folksy tone that enlightened my kids to the gore and war that Grizzly Bears endure. I thought it was fun to learn (through Wahb's story) about their life span, their diet, their ability to survive gunshots and bear-traps. I als Wahb (meaning White Bear) is an orphaned Grizzly Bear who learns to respect his fears, fight for peace, and trust the healing powers of a stinky hot-spring. The story is aptly titled The Biography of a Grizzly because it is about the life of a Grizzly. Seton writes with a folksy tone that enlightened my kids to the gore and war that Grizzly Bears endure. I thought it was fun to learn (through Wahb's story) about their life span, their diet, their ability to survive gunshots and bear-traps. I also enjoyed learning about the roachback bear. I had never heard of those before. This is a mighty fast read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    Read this years ago and always liked this story and Lobo King of Currumpaw too. They are together in the hardcover. I'd recommend reading it to the boys Shawn. I think if they like nature, they'd like these stories. Biography of a Grizzly is about a bears life, from cub to old age, starts out with his Mother and 3 brothers and sisters being shot and Wahb being left alone. Lobo is about a remarkable wolf pack that Lobo leads and their downfall. Probably said too much already but it won't take away Read this years ago and always liked this story and Lobo King of Currumpaw too. They are together in the hardcover. I'd recommend reading it to the boys Shawn. I think if they like nature, they'd like these stories. Biography of a Grizzly is about a bears life, from cub to old age, starts out with his Mother and 3 brothers and sisters being shot and Wahb being left alone. Lobo is about a remarkable wolf pack that Lobo leads and their downfall. Probably said too much already but it won't take away from the stories.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    This is the story of a big, old grizzly bear who roamed far and wide in his time and gained quite a reputation. It is told from the bear's perspective with a folksy, breezy attitude that keeps you riveted to all of his experiences, from being orphaned as a cub, through his years as king of the forest, to his inevitable final days. Written for children, it is over-flowing with amazing facts about bears.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Norton

    An excellent read... Beautifully written, the author captures each moment in a way that you almost feel as though you're in the story. If a bear had the ability to write his story, in short, a legacy, this would surely be one that "bears" repeating. In part, this may not be for everyone, however, I found it to be a great story, and I highly recommend it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth

    This was one of the few books that my father recommended to me. It's a long time since I read it and my father has since departed which means that I may be letting sentiment determine my rating. Nevertheless, I have fond memories of this book and the well written but honest way it deals with the cycle of life. I recommend it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rudy

    This is a great book for young adults, I read it originally at age 6. A wonderful tale of life and wildlife from a bears perspective. This is one of the few books I still recommend to anyone of any age.

  18. 5 out of 5

    CHERRY

    This maybe describe the life of too many animals. At moments, it sounded like the biography of a human being with a wounded childhood. Interesting, but not as catching as the story of the Springfield Fox or Billy the dog.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Willow

    My mom read this as a read aloud a long time ago and it was a great book. It's like it was written by a bear and he writes about what he does and everything. You learn a lot about grizzly bears too.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Norman Cook

    AKA King of the Grizzlies.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    Great read-aloud for nature-study. The kids were eager for me to keep reading. We learned a lot about grizzly bears!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    Oscar Wilde's fairytales bent this twig into a bleeding heart social worker. This book did the same, as regards the animal kingdom. Not a social worker, a rescuer of birds, etc.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    I wish kids were reading books such as this one instead of so much fantasy.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hiroshi

    Quick read into the mind and life of a grizzly. I can see why this author was so influential to Sir David Attenborough. A bit raw at times but a good read for kids.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steve Shilstone

    Another story I ate up as a little guy. Neat biography told from the bear's viewpoint.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kent

    I really enjoyed reading this book and feel somehow connected to it. This book has a hold on a part of me and I'm not sure what it is. I now own two original editions of this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Micah

    This was the first chapter book that my father ever read to me. It is truly incredible.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bob Steen

    Interesting perspective inside the head of a grizzly. If it didn't start with mama grizzly getting shot and end with protagonist grizzly dying, it would be a good one for the kids.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Demian Katz

    An peculiar book: a surprisingly sympathetic portrayal of an unusually murderous bear. A very quick read, illustrated with a curious mix of naturalistic images and more symbolic ones.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lulu

    I loved it so much, I would deffinately read it again. It just made me feel so fragile afterwards..

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