Review Blog

Jul 15 2011

No bears by Meg McKinlay and Leila Rudge (illustrator)

cover image

Walker Books, 2011. ISBN 978 1 921529924.
(Ages: 6+) Picture book. Recommended. Ruby intends to make a book, but she insists it cannot have bears in it. She tells us she is sick of bears being in every books she reads, and goes on to list the things which make a good story. There should be a princess, a monster, a castle along with something scary, funny and exciting. So she sets out to tell such a story, making a book as she goes. Each page shows a spiral bound book with the story containing all the elements she likes involved. Her precept that there be no bears is followed in her tale, but a smartly dressed bear keeps peeping in around the edges of the book as the story proceeds. The story itself is humerous and will engage the readers till the end but they will also find humour in the drawings of the bear and its attempts to be involved in the tale.
In the background on each page readers will find some of the characters from fairy stories that they know, and so this will further engage their interest. The delightful illustrations often show some of the tools of the illustrator's trade, as pots of pencils and pens, ink and paint appear, alongside the spiral bound book, and this is repeated in the end covers.
A lovely tale to elicit interest and engagement, the story could well be used to introduce what makes up a story, or develop interest in fairy stories, or simply to show what fun can be had from a well written story, ably augmented by glorious illustrations.
Fran Knight

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