March Hedge a gram

Happy March,

      This is my March hedge a gram.  I'm retelling the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears for the fall of 2007.  Last month I started the project.  You may have read my monthly installments about past children's book projects and this year my book will be about the three bears with a different perspective.  My hope is that if you are interested in writing or illustrating children's books, my project may help you with your creative decisions.
     Like many people. I'm fascinated by polar bears.   Not only do the survive in an extreme environment but they are uniquely formed and mysterious.  Historically all bears capture people's imagination because they are so human like.  Physically they sometimes stand on their hind legs and adding to their human like stance, their eyes, like all predators, are in the front of their heads.  Bears are extremely intelligent and stories abound about bears using tools and, being first experience learners, which means they can grasp experiences in a way which helps them predict what will happen next.   A polar bear is fine tuned to exist in a  freezing cold environment.  For example, it has hollow hair which captures light and directs it towards it's skin which is black and absorbs the warmth.  After swimming it can shake its coat and the ocean water will fly right off.  That's why the polar bears do not turn into giant ice cubes when they come out of the ocean.  Their shape is unusual too, because not only can they travel well on snow and land, with big snow shoe like feet, but they can swim under water.  They hold their breath and dive thirty feet deep or more to chase their prey.  I've read about bears lying in wait on the ice at a seal's breathing hole.  The bear knows the seal has been using it to breath because it's not frozen over but the seal, also a mammal that holds its breath under water, may have more that one place to come up.   The polar bear will wait for hours and when the seal does appear, it isn't easily caught.  Inuit people have seen bears slide a chunk of snowy ice in front of them so the seal doesn't see its shape on the ice above.
     Polar bears are very dangerous and so strong we humans can hardly imagine it.  Yet photographs have been taken of bears playing with husky dogs.  Polar bear females are very good mothers and I've read that a person can see two pairs of tracks in the snow, big feet and little feet.   Suddenly the little feet disappear.  The young bear has jumped on the mom's back for a ride.
     In my reading, I discovered that another animal shadows the polar bear.  That is the arctic fox.  It is a fox that is very rounded with a small nose and ears.  It is white and blends in with the snow too.  It eats the bear's leftovers, and will follow the bear way out onto the frozen ocean or sea ice.
      In the olden days, the people who lived in the arctic regions were called Eskimos.  They call themselves Inuit which means "the people".  Now, many use the name "Inuit" and I do too.  Inuit people have many specialized skills and vast knowledge about the arctic region.  From what I've read, Inuit people love to tell stories, and sometimes tell fanciful and even scary stories.  I will be mixing two cultures in my book, and even adding my own ideas.  As you can guess, although the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story has been told for many generation I will add a new way of looking at it.
      An editor once said, "it's all in the telling of a story", maybe now is the time for you to take an old story and add some twists and turns.  Change the characters or the setting, and put in a few of your favorite things.  Mix it up and surprise yourself.
      Bye for now, your friend,

                             Jan Brett