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.
Urso Brunov and the White Emperorby Brian Jacques, Alexi Natchev
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… See more details below
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 Lightsand 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.
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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