No Bears by Meg McKinlay, illustrated by Leila Ridge (Candlewick Press, 32 pages, $15.99)
This is a novel children’s book written by Meg McKinlay, and illustrated by Leila Ridge. It’s about a girl named Ella. Ella loves books but is tired of reading stories that are filled with bears. As she says, “I’m tired of bears. Every time you read a book, it’s just BEARS BEARS BEARS…” So she designs a story with pretty things, a princess, a castle, a monster and a giant. Oh, and also a fairy godmother with magical powers that might be needed to save the princess from the monster.
This 32-page Candlewick Press book is wonderfully illustrated, and throws in a lot of cool, sneaky references to well-known children’s tales (young readers will have fun discovering such things as the Owl and the Pussycat). It’s a great early reader because it includes standard phrases such as Once upon a time, Happily ever after, and The End. And it’s relaxing and unique especially because there are said to be NO BEARS in it. Not even one!
Written for readers aged 3 and up, and a few bright 2-year-olds. Toddlers who love animals will appreciate it; especially as they find that there are actually a few loveable bears hidden in its pages.
A review of the children’s book No Bears by Meg McKinlay, illustrated by Leila Ridge.
The Sniffles for Bear: A Bear and Mouse Children’s Book by Bonny Becker; illustrated by Karly MacDonald Denton (Candlewick Press; $16.99; 32 pages)
“Bear was sick, very, very sick… Bear was sure no one had ever been as sick as he.”
This terrific book in the Bear and Mouse children’s book series is perfect for teaching a sensitive child that a transitory illness can have a bark that’s worse than its bite. In this finely illustrated tale, Bear (and he’s a big one!) is down with a winter flu and he’s sure that he’s dying – so sure that he decides to draw up a will to give away his worldly possessions. Mouse (the far smaller of the two friendly animals) helps Bear to keep his grip on this mortal coil by nursing him through his illness with the benefit of some hand-holding and Nettle soup. A congested Bear says of the soup, “Dat was just the thing.”
Eventually, Bear comes to feel better and – wouldn’t you know it? – Mouse winds up catching the flu and all he wants to do is rest. So the tables are turned, and its Bear’s turn to take care of Mouse; some Nettle soup and Mouse goes happily, snuggly to sleep.
The colors in this book are subtly relaxing, and the story is told with such humor and irony that your child will likely plead with you to read it before catching 40 winks. Highly recommended.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. The Sniffles for Bear is recommended for children ages 3 and up. The first book in the series, A Visitor for Bear, was a New York Times Bestseller and an E. B. White Read Aloud Award Winner.
A review of The Sniffles for Bear: A Children’s Book by Bonny Becker; illustrated by Karly MacDonald Denton.