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No Bears Hardcover – March 27, 2012


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763658901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763658908
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 9.8 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A little girl named Ella regales children with what she believes a good story should—and shouldn’t—include: royalty, humor, a few well-placed frights, but absolutely no bears. As her make-believe effort unfolds, those paying attention to the illustrations will see that things aren’t going as Ella would have us hear. Indeed, there is a bear: a large and kindly one who adds water so the owl and the pussycat can set sail, literally pulls the strings on the monster’s boots, and even ends up rescuing the fairy godmother. Ella, of course, refuses to acknowledge the bear’s presence en route to her story’s happily ever after. Ella is a delightful and creative mirror for any imaginative child, and the bear is that good parent who doesn’t require recognition, even as she plays an important role in the visual story. Rudge’s busily patterned watercolor pages, comic proportions, and clever details—the billiard-ball-round king’s head; Ella’s own instructions for making a paper crown; the post-rescue party, featuring pigs in tutus and gingerbread men—invite much exploration. Grades K-2. --Francisca Goldsmith

Review

In delicate, curlicued drawings, we see an evil monster stomping through the pages to kidnap a princess "so she could read him bedtime stories every night." Rescue comes when the princess cries out, "Someone save me!" and someone does. Who is this someone? Children ages 5-7 will have been chortling all along because they know that the princess is protected by a fairy godmother who happens to be . . . a bear. A charming fable.
—The Wall Street Journal

Ella proclaims that she is in charge of this book, and this book will have no bears, not a one: "Every time you read a book, it’s just BEARS BEARS BEARS." She decrees that her book will have a monster and a princess and a fairy godmother instead, makes herself a crown, and begins her bear-free tale. Readers, however, can see perfectly well in the delicate and droll illustrations that there is a bear in the book they’re reading... This is a picture book that will send the reader delightedly back again and again to sort out the layers of reality... Both the story and the inventive digital pictures draw readers in deeper and deeper, along with the many fairy-tale details to discover (clever viewers will spot all the usual suspects, from Little Red Riding Hood to Rapunzel to the Three Little Pigs).
—The Horn Book

"I’m tired of bears. Every time you read a book, it’s just BEARS BEARS BEARS," grumps the young narrator. Claiming that you don’t need them, she proceeds to craft a story about a monster who sets out to steal a princess and is ultimately foiled by a fairy godmother. Fair enough—but as is evident from the episode’s first page on, the godmother hovering watchfully just beyond the edges of each scene is unmistakably ursine... Young fans of David Wiesner’s THREE PIGS (2001) and other metafictive romps will be properly amused.
—Kirkus Reviews

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Ella is just so much fun and so easy to read.
Valerie A. Baute
Don't be surprised if your children want their own blank spiral notebooks for story writing after reading Ella's tale.
Bethany
Leila Rudge does a great job tempering all the colors and activity in Ella's book against the pure white background.
FIRR-Kids!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Valerie A. Baute on March 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Ella is tired of bears. They are in too many stories. This is her story, so there won't be any bears... or will there?
Ella tells us she is going to tell us a story with no bears in it. Her story constantly tells us that there are no bears, and Ella chimes in occasionally to tell us when it's getting scary or tell us how perfect the book is.

I absolutely adored this book. From the very first page, I started reading it out loud. Ella is just so much fun and so easy to read. The pictures are colorful yet simple. It would be perfect to read to a kindergarten or first grade class. It is just too long to read aloud to a group of younger children, and that makes me sad. It would be a great book for one on one reading with a younger child, especially one that is good with sitting through longer books.

There were so many parts of this book that I loved. I could probably quote the whole thing, but that would defeat the purpose of reviewing it. With words like "fantastical" you know this book is a winner! In Ella's words, "Wow! This turned out to be a pretty good book, don't you think?" Yes Ella, I do!
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By A. Doug on November 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The story is fun, not great, but good. We're in a "bear" phase; my 3 yr old was tickled when she figured out the book's secret :) Really like the illustrations too.
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Format: Hardcover
"Every time you read a book, it's just BEARS BEARS BEARS - horrible furry bears slurping honey in awful little caves." That's how fed up Ella is with bears hogging all the storybooks. She needs a break from all the bears. The obvious solution is to take matters into her own hands and create a storybook that has, you guessed it, no bears. No bears in her castle, no bears in her forest, no bears putting their grimy little paws in her book, period.

Instead of bears crowding up the joint, Ella's book has a tutorial for making your own paper crown, fairies with shimmering wings, a map of faraway places, and a terrible monster. This monster is also terribly (hilariously) dressed, replete in a pair of yellow and coral striped tights and an offbeat patterned mask. Ella's story has action, adventure, and like all good storybooks, a happy ending.

I like how Ella includes classic storybook elements in a seemingly random way. When she introduces the monster to the story, a little girl in a red cape and hood runs past with a basket while a wolf looks on. The monster crosses the river in a bathtub with an owl and a pussycat, later passing by a trio of pigs in one house, and a girl with a suspiciously long braid in another.

There may be no bears allowed in, but one lurks (unknown to the bear banning author) right at the edges of the book, with a paw reaching in on several pages. Could it be that a bear is having a huge effect on Ella's book on the sly?

Leila Rudge does a great job tempering all the colors and activity in Ella's book against the pure white background. There are so many little details to take note of, but it's not the least bit overwhelming. There is action and adventure on every page, paired with adorable little patterned clothing (Ella's pink patterned shirt is my favorite) and clever little jokes tucked in everywhere.
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