Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

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****The Princess and the White Bear King

retold by Tanya Robyn Batt

illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli

Reviewed February 23, 2005.
Barefoot Books, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2004.  42 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (J 398.2 BAT).

The Princess and the White Bear King is a fairy tale retelling which combines themes from three tales:  East of the Sun, West of the Moon, The Black Bull of Norraway, and The White Bear King.

Tanya Robyn Batt has spun the tales together in a beautiful whole.  We have a princess not afraid to go off with a mysterious white bear.  When she gives in to her mother’s doubts and tries to see the face of her benefactor, she is doomed to lose him.  Her own resourcefulness and perseverance wins her true love back to her.    The beautiful illustrations add to the magic.

I am especially fond of this tale since I read East, by Edith Pattou, a novelized version for young adults.  The Princess and the White Bear King is a beautiful presentation of the same essential story for younger readers.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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