Urso Brunov and the White Emperor

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In the middle of a wintry night, deep in the forest, Urso Brunov hears a cry for help carried over the cold winds. Wolves are on the prowl and two young polar bears are lost in the forest. Though he may be the size of a thumb, who is Urso Brunov if he is not the Little Father of All Bears? Traversing snow-laden forests on the backs of stags and crossing wide seas atop a whale, this tiny yet brave hero returns the two lost polar bear cubs to the Land of Rainbow Lights—and is treated to a grand celebration in the ...

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Natchev, Alexi New York, NY 2008 Hard cover New. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. Picture book. With dust jacket. 48 p. Contains: Illustrations. Intended for a juvenile ... audience. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Overview

In the middle of a wintry night, deep in the forest, Urso Brunov hears a cry for help carried over the cold winds. Wolves are on the prowl and two young polar bears are lost in the forest. Though he may be the size of a thumb, who is Urso Brunov if he is not the Little Father of All Bears? Traversing snow-laden forests on the backs of stags and crossing wide seas atop a whale, this tiny yet brave hero returns the two lost polar bear cubs to the Land of Rainbow Lights—and is treated to a grand celebration in the land of ice before returning home in a wondrous moonlit flight on the back of a goose.

In the age-old tradition of tall tales, Redwall author Brian Jacques shows us storytelling at its finest in this spirited adventure.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Mini superhero Urso Brunov, the brave bear "no taller than your very own thumb," is back on duty (following The Tale of Urso Brunov). His mission: to rescue two lost polar bear cubs and return them to their home in the Land of Rainbow Lights. Natchev's soft, detailed watercolors complement Jacques's formal tones; together they create a traditional storybook universe in which the hero overcomes obstacles to complete his assignment. In the less than gripping tale, however, the obstacles pose no real dangers for masterful, fearless Urso Brunov. He solves almost every crisis by reminding the cubs of his reputation, blowing his bugle and summoning aid from another creature. Natchev garbs Urso Brunov in a Cossack-style uniform, which, together with the textural art, suggests the ambience of Eastern European picture books of generations past. The art provides plenty of visual variety, from snarling wolves baring sharp teeth to rainbow-colored geese soaring through the night sky, which helps hold readers' attention but cannot overcome repetitious sequences and a prolix text. Ages 6-8. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal

Gr 1-3

Urso Brunov, the "Little Father of All Bears," is "mighty in battle/strong as an elephant/fierce as a lion/and wise as the wisest old owl of the forests." Tiny in stature but formidable in spirit, he and his bugle are called by the Silvery Moon Lady and led by Old Uncle Wind to aid two missing polar bears, threatened by ravenous wolves. Using his instrument to separate these attackers, Brunov promises to protect the royal bear siblings by guiding them home to the Land of Rainbow Lights. Relying on his friends, the boars, the deer, and the king of the whales, the lost bears safely return to their magical ice palace. Meeting their leader, the White Emperor Balanco, Brunov is rewarded with festivities. This fanciful sequel to The Tale of Urso Brunov (Philomel, 2003) features nondescript watercolor illustrations, though they are enhanced by cool colors, capturing the icy setting. Descriptive language develops Brunov's character; however, the lengthy narrative, featuring numerous brief appearances by minor characters, may prevent this selection from reaching a wide audience.-Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399237928
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/16/2008
  • Series: Urso Brunov Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian  Jacques

Brian Jacques lives in Liverpool, England.

Alexi Natchev lives in Newark, Delaware.

Biography

The drawings that open the chapters in a Redwall book may look sweet, but Brian Jacques' fantasies are not for the faint of heart. Adventure, peril, betrayal, and downright slaughter abound in these hefty novels about the creatures -- mice, hares, moles, badgers, and sparrows -- who inhabit Redwall Abbey in medieval England.

Brian Jacques has had a life nearly as exciting as that of some of his characters: After dropping out of school in his native Liverpool at the age of 15, he traveled the world as a merchant seaman, visiting ports from America to Asia. Upon returning to England, he held a wide variety of jobs, from railway fireman to boxer among them. In the 1960s, he and his two brothers formed the Liverpool Fishermen, a folksinging group. Jacques also tried his hand as a playwright, producing several stage plays -- Brown Bitter, Wet Nellies, Scouse – about native Liverpudlians.

The Redwall stories, which were to earn him legions of fans, were born out of his time as a volunteer storyteller at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool. Jacques maintains that his detailed writing style was developed here; he was forced to be as descriptive as possible, so his audience would be able to experience his stories as if they could see. He created the first Redwall story as a gift to the children of the school, but never intended to publish it commercially. Fortunately for his many fans on both sides of the Atlantic, a friend sent his first manuscript to a publisher, and the rousing series took off in England in 1986 and in the U.S. the following year with Redwall.

Jacques takes issue with the notion that his books are "fantasy" fiction, a description that he says "smacks of swords and sorcery and dungeons and dragons. . . . I like to think of my books as old-fashioned adventures that happened ‘Once upon a time, long ago and far away.'"

The novels appeal generally to an audience of nine- to fifteen-year-olds, but have admirers both younger and older. The tales pivot on the conflict between good and evil; good invariably triumphs. Indeed, morality issues are always clear in Jacques' books: cruelty, greed, and avarice are eradicated in all forms; bravery, loyalty, and resourcefulness reap rewards aplenty. When it comes to characters, though, Jacques is less simplistic: Martin the Warrior, who through his courage and cunning rose to become the noblest hero in the land, is given to impetuousness, and the miscreant Cluny has both good and bad sides, a la Long John Silver.

For female readers, the Redwall books can be extra satisfying. His female creatures are as adventurous as the males: they don't faint into their male counterparts' arms, but explore, swashbuckle, and rescue on their own. In Mariel of Redwall (1991), the courageous girl mousechild Mariel, thrown overboard by the Gabool, leader of the evil pirate Searats, exacts her own brand of revenge.

Jacques' usually swift pace sometimes comes to a slogging halt with extraordinarily detailed descriptions of the legendary Redwall feasts, right down to the last acorn and drop of buttercup and honey cordial. But the author is redeemed by his delicate interweaving of subplots, his memorable menagerie, his rollicking sense of adventure, and his ability to transport the reader into an entirely different world, a world that, as one critic for The New York Times put it, "is both an incredible and ingratiating place, one to which readers will doubtless cheerfully return."

Good To Know

Brian Jacques wrote his books in longhand or on a manual typewriter, or, if the weather permits, outdoors.

Despite his success as an author, Jacques continued to broadcast the weekly radio show, Jakestown, that he hosted before he wrote the Redwall books.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      June 15, 1939
    2. Place of Birth:
      Liverpool, England
    1. Date of Death:
      February 5, 2011
    2. Place of Death:
      Liverpool, England
    1. Education:
      St. John’s School, Liverpool, England
    2. Website:

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