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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

    Cassandra Glissadevil

    4.4 stars! I checked this book out of the library when I was ten years old. The story is told from an orphaned grizzly, Waub's point of view. Originally published in 1900 as "Biography of a Grizzly"; Disney made it into a movie in 1970. The book was republished in 1970 as "King of the Grizzlies". Life is tough for Waub without Mama Grizzly. Plenty of danger in Yellow Stone. Follow Waub's adventures from a curious cub to a powerful adult. The story plucked every emotion my ten year old self could 4.4 stars! I checked this book out of the library when I was ten years old. The story is told from an orphaned grizzly, Waub's point of view. Originally published in 1900 as "Biography of a Grizzly"; Disney made it into a movie in 1970. The book was republished in 1970 as "King of the Grizzlies". Life is tough for Waub without Mama Grizzly. Plenty of danger in Yellow Stone. Follow Waub's adventures from a curious cub to a powerful adult. The story plucked every emotion my ten year old self could feel. Wonderful YA animal story! They don't make 'em like this anymore.

  3. 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. 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.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carri

    Well written, but very sad.

  5. 5 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.

  6. 4 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! 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!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Scott White

    This is the first book I can remember reading. Staying up late reading under the covers I was probably 9 or 10. About a year later I found my dads stash of Louis L’Amour books and I was hooked. I gave this book 5 stars because it kindled the love of reading in me!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Swystun

    Ernest Thompson Seton was an author, artist, and one of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America. As a youth, he would draw and study animals as a way of avoiding his abusive father. He became fascinated with wolves while working as a naturalist for Manitoba. Successful as a writer, artist and naturalist, Seton moved to New York City to further his career. Seton later lived at Wyndygoul, an estate that he built in Cos Cob, a section of Greenwich, Connecticut. After experiencing vandalism by the Ernest Thompson Seton was an author, artist, and one of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America. As a youth, he would draw and study animals as a way of avoiding his abusive father. He became fascinated with wolves while working as a naturalist for Manitoba. Successful as a writer, artist and naturalist, Seton moved to New York City to further his career. Seton later lived at Wyndygoul, an estate that he built in Cos Cob, a section of Greenwich, Connecticut. After experiencing vandalism by the local youth, Seton invited them to his estate where he told stories of the American Indians and of nature. If he told them the story of Wahb, a silvertip grizzly, they would have been highly entertained. Originally published in 1900, this classic is expressed in passionate language and is accompanied by seventy-five drawings. His is a life well-lived...I could be speaking of both Seton and Wahb. The book prompts a roller coaster of emotions as we follow the grizzly through a life of challenge and joy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jim Rose

    Fabulous read. I first read this as "King of the Grizzly's" in grade school, back in the 70's. I recently lost a toe, and it reminded me of the story. It is such a great storey of over coming diversity and hardship, to become the best you can be. To live life to the fullest no matter what life puts on your path. I would recommend this read to anyone and everyone, that faces diversity in their lives. I really think it shows that life is worth living, no matter what hardships you face. Fabulous read. I first read this as "King of the Grizzly's" in grade school, back in the 70's. I recently lost a toe, and it reminded me of the story. It is such a great storey of over coming diversity and hardship, to become the best you can be. To live life to the fullest no matter what life puts on your path. I would recommend this read to anyone and everyone, that faces diversity in their lives. I really think it shows that life is worth living, no matter what hardships you face.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    This is the story of Wahb, a grizzly bear who lives his life in Wyoming. It follows him from when he was a cub to his death as an old, word down, but still mighty bear. It was both sad and quite well done, and I imagine that for the time it was written, this was a truly empathetic look at a bear (even when he kills humans there is always a reason).

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Buccambuso

    Checked this out from the library to read to my kids. They hated it at fist because of the death early on, but didn’t stop listening and I had no desire to stop reading. We were mesmerized by the 167 pages. I love old books! My kids debated whether to give it 4 or 5 stars because it was a bit scary in the beginning.

  12. 4 out of 5

    M

    Another great story i'd gladly sit and read to any youngster. Seton is truly great at being honest to his reader and always removes the veil that separates humanity from the animal kingdom, the necessary evils within and provides a contrast to the evils man does to it, often unnecessarily. Another great story i'd gladly sit and read to any youngster. Seton is truly great at being honest to his reader and always removes the veil that separates humanity from the animal kingdom, the necessary evils within and provides a contrast to the evils man does to it, often unnecessarily.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mark Weimer

    Great Book! This was one of my favorite books when I was growing up. It really captures the imagination and lets you see the world through the eyes of one of the most majestic creatures to roam the West. This is probably where my love of the mountains was born.

  14. 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.

  15. 4 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!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alex

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

  17. 5 out of 5

    MrsSRM

    A light, short read from an interesting perspective.

  18. 4 out of 5

    John Stantcheff

    Amazing chef-d'œuvre ! Nature , painted with heart. I really felt like bear while i was reading that book. Amazing chef-d'œuvre ! Nature , painted with heart. I really felt like bear while i was reading that book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Zebulon Rey

    This was the first novel I ever read. Highly recommend.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    This is one of those nature books that are designed to make you think about how magnificent nature is, but for me they just make me think about how rotten humans are. This is the story of a perfectly nice bear who becomes bitter and enraged because he spends his entire life being harassed by humans when he just wants to be left the hell alone. It's meant to impress you with his strength and fortitude in the face of all these obstacles, but that's essentially what it boils down to: A bear who wan This is one of those nature books that are designed to make you think about how magnificent nature is, but for me they just make me think about how rotten humans are. This is the story of a perfectly nice bear who becomes bitter and enraged because he spends his entire life being harassed by humans when he just wants to be left the hell alone. It's meant to impress you with his strength and fortitude in the face of all these obstacles, but that's essentially what it boils down to: A bear who wants to be alone and humans who very persistently and stupidly refuse to leave him alone.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    Was a cute read, though quite sad

  22. 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!

  23. 5 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.

  24. 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! 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!

  25. 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. 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.

  26. 4 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. 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.

  27. 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. 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.

  28. 5 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. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 4 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.

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