Bethany's Reviews > No Bears

No Bears by Meg McKinlay
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Apr 02, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: books-to-make-kids-giggle
Read in January, 2012

Summary: No Bears

Ella is writing a book, and she knows what sort of book it will be. Her book will have pretty things, fairies, princesses, castles, funny things, exciting things and scary things but most importantly NO BEARS. After all, "Every time you read a book, it's just BEARS BEARS BEARS - horrible furry bears slurping honey in awful little caves."

Then follows Ella's delightful story including, yes, a princess (Ella who has donned a paper crown for the part), a king and queen (who look rather domestic), a fairy godmother (with pen, paint, and a magic wand) and a "scary" monster but NO Bears. Princess Ella peers into the illustrations of her spiral bound notebook while behind all the action a furry bear watches on (although he nicely refrains from slurping any honey). When the monster decides to kidnap the princess, the bear steps into action attempting to stop the monster on each page. Finally, when all other attempts have failed and the monster has grabbed the princess. The bear uses a quick wave of the fairy godmother's wand to right all wrongs and return the princess to her safe home. Ella's story ends with a bash for the fairy godmother who everyone knows saved Ella (after all there are no bears!). The poor neglected bear is left with a few straggling fairy tale creatures and no verbal credit for a job well done.

Illustrations: No Bears

Leila Rudge's illustrations in No Bears add a complex dimension to the simple storyline. I caught my son peering over the illustrations on his own trying to see every detail. If you are a reader (like me) who gets so excited at the chance to read a new book that you race through it as quickly as possible, slow down and enjoy. This picture book is one of those rare treasures where the illustrations and words blend together in perfect story-harmony. (Note: Due to the importance and size of the illustrations, this book may not be a good choice for a read aloud story time for a larger group.)

My Comments: No Bears

Meg McKinlay and Leila Rudge's delightful book No Bears definitely meets my personal three major review criteria: well-written, quality illustrations, and encourages the imagination. My son and I enjoyed reading the book together multiple times. One caution, I did notice that even though Amazon has listed this book as for three and older, my almost four year-old did not understand the humor of the illustrations contrasted with the story until I explained it to him. (Of course, I enjoyed the cuddles and giggles while explaining!)

Best of all, No Bears, encourages creative storytelling and writing. Don't be surprised if your children want their own blank spiral notebooks for story writing after reading Ella's tale.

To see activity ideas to go with this book, please see: www.notwiddletwaddle.com.

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