The Bearskin

The Bearskin

5.0 1
by Howard Pyle, Trina Schart Hyman
     
 

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Betrayed by his own father, the infant son of a lowly miller narrowly escapes death and is lovingly adopted by a faithful she-bear. Raised on her nourishing milk, the boy becomes the strongest man in the land — and the only one brave enough to battle the kingdom's bloodthirsty three-headed dragon. Yet it is wit, not just courage and might, that the hero must

Overview

Betrayed by his own father, the infant son of a lowly miller narrowly escapes death and is lovingly adopted by a faithful she-bear. Raised on her nourishing milk, the boy becomes the strongest man in the land — and the only one brave enough to battle the kingdom's bloodthirsty three-headed dragon. Yet it is wit, not just courage and might, that the hero must employ to win his true desire: the delicate hand of a princess already betrothed to another.

Nothing could be more delicious than the marvelous quest that ensues — a tale of romantic valor, stolen glory, and sweet justice. Caldecott Medalist Trina Schart Hyman has created a pictorial drama that is alive with good humor and splendid characters as forever memorable as Howard Pyle's timeless story. Here is a winning revival from the classic book The Wonder Clock that will surely be savored again and again.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Decidedly American and far sunnier than the Grimms' tale of the same name, this is the first of Pyle's original tales in The Wonder Clock (published in 1887). A king casts the miller's son into the wilderness to avert a wise man's prophecy that the boy will one day marry the king's daughter. The miller's son is then raised by a bear, and though he is loved, he yearns for his own kind. With the help of his wits and some gifts from the bear, he slays a dragon and, of course, marries the princess. No European prince or peasant, Bearskin speaks with the no-nonsense dialect of a true American, even when about to fight the dragon: "Just go in back of the bushes yonder, and leave it with me to talk the matter over with Master Dragon." Hyman (St. George and the Dragon) paints him as Native American in appearance, and indeed populates the book with a pointedly multiracial cast: most of the royal types and peasants look European, while all the wise and understanding characters do not (e.g., the princess and the chief forester's clever wife are of African descent). Hyman proves her mastery with paintings that range from the bountiful picture of the chief forester's kitchen, ducks, rabbit and chili peppers hanging from the rafters, dogs at his feet, wife advising him with wooden spoon in hand; to the sweet picture of baby Bearskin drifting like Moses on the river; to the manly Bearskin assuming St. George's stance as he charges into the three-headed dragon. Hyman infuses these memorable characters with just the right visual touches of humor and intelligence to meet the standards of Pyle's classic American tale. Ages 5-up. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Sheree Van Vreede
Woven with traces of classic stories, this book is its own fairytale. The stories of baby Moses, Romulus and Remus, and Snow White can all be detected. Pyle uses the old tried-and-true love conflict between a princess and an undeserving peasant, who must fight to earn her love. Like many classic children's tales, this story has its share of violence. The enjoyable illustrations and writing style make this a fun read.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4--A stouthearted miller's son who was abandoned at birth is raised by a devoted she-bear and fulfills his destiny by marrying the princess. Elegant, bordered paintings mix fairy-tale romance with modern-day wit. (Aug.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688098377
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/28/1997
Series:
Books of Wonder Series
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 10.32(h) x 0.41(d)
Lexile:
AD1060L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 8 Years

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The Bearskin 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Aradanryl More than 1 year ago
A unique combination of elements of Snow White, Moses, St George, with a bit of Romulus and Remus, woven together in an amusing and heart-warming tale. Beautiful illustrations. Multicultural.