Written by Shelley Hrdlitschka and Rae Schidlo
Illustrated by Linda Sharp
This beautifully illustrated children’s book tells the remarkable story of two orphaned grizzly bears who were saved and brought to Grouse Mountain as cubs, where they now live in a protected wildlife refuge and serve as unofficial ambassadors for their species.
Coola and Grinder are two adult grizzly bears living at the “peak of Vancouver” on Grouse Mountain. For the past eighteen years they have been among the mountain’s biggest attractions. People from all over the world flock to see these magnificent creatures, who live in a five-acre wildlife refuge that simulates a grizzly bear’s natural habitat. Contrary to popular belief, the bears are not brothers; they were brought to the mountain as orphaned cubs born on opposite sides of the province—Coola hails from Bella Coola, and Grinder (named after the Grouse Grind hiking trail) was born near Invermere.
The Grizzlies of Grouse Mountain tells the heartwarming and inspiring tale of Coola and Grinder’s life on the mountain, their distinct personalities, and their important role in teaching wildlife rangers and scientists about grizzly bear behaviour. Written for young school-age children, this book presents facts and entertaining anecdotes about the bears in a clear and engaging way, and imparts valuable lessons about the importance of wildlife conservation. This richly illustrated book will foster children’s love of wildlife for years to come.
Available April 16, 2019
Heritage House 2019
“Through this inspiring story, we have a rare opportunity to learn more about the orphaned grizzly bears of Grouse Mountain and to develop a deeper understanding of their life and habits. Readers can see the value of protecting this magnificent species and the importance of conserving wilderness habitat for bears. Rich illustrations and a touching narrative make this book a wonderful resource for any young reader.”–Deborah Hodge, author of West Coast Wild
“The remarkable lives of these two gentle giants are superbly described by the authors, while the beautiful illustrations perfectly capture the bears’ myriad facial expressions. Grinder and Coola have taught thousands of people that, despite some obvious differences, they really are a lot like us.”–Dr. Ken Macquisten, D.V.M. Managing Director/Veterinarian, Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife
New book! New genre!
It’s always so exciting to sign a book contract. This one is something entirely different for me – a non-fiction, illustated children’s book celebrating the lives of the two bears, Coola and Grinder, who live at the Wildlife Refuge on Grouse Mountain. It describes how they came to live on the mountain as small cubs, why they can never be released and what we have learned about grizzly bears from studying their behaviour. I wrote it with Rae Schidlo and it will be illustrated by Linda Sharp. It is coming out in the spring of 2019, right about the time the two bears come out of hibernation. How is that for good timing?
Coola and Grinder coming out of hibernation together.
Rae and I wrote this book because we both volunteered at the Wildlife Refuge and developed a passion for these bears. They are magnificent creatures, their story is fascinating, and we felt it should be shared. Proceeds from book sales will be turned over to the Grouse Mountain Wildlife Refuge.
I can’t wait to see the finished book!
Thank you Heritage House for agreeing to publish this story.
Photo credit of adult bears: Devin Manky