Publication Date: March 27, 2012
Ella is in charge of this book, and she will tell you something right now. There are NO BEARS in it. Not even one.
Ella wants to tell you a story — a story with absolutely no bears. You don’t need bears for a book. You need pretty things like fairies and princesses and castles and maybe funny things and exciting things. In Ella’s kind of story, there are no bears in the village or the castle or the deep dark forest or faraway lands. But there might be . . . a monster! Riffing on well-known fairy-tale themes, this fun, offbeat story is perfectly matched by playful illustrations with a running visual joke that will keep even bear lovers smiling.
Meg McKinlay is a poet as well as a children's writer. She lives in Australia and divides her time between writing and teaching at the University of Western Australia.
Leila Rudge received a degree in illustration from Bath Spa University in her native England and now lives in Australia.
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.