With the promise of riches, a father sends his daughter to live with a handsome white bear. The girl is given all that she could ever want and treated with kindness, and at night the bear would remove his skin and lay down with the girl as a man although she could not see him because of the dark. The homesick girl begs to return to her family for a visit and her wish is granted, but she is admonished to tell no one of her life with the bear. The mother tricks the girl into speaking about her life and gives her a candle with which to see who comes at night. Back with the bear, the girl lights the candle at night but when she spills three drops of wax on the man, he awakes. He tells her that he was put under a spell by the Queen of the Trolls to be a bear by day and a man by night. If he could have found a woman to love him for himself for one year, the curse would have been broken. Now he must return to the Queen who lives east of the sun and west of the moon. Desperate to find her love, the girl enlists the help of the wind to find the way to the Queen's castle. Once there, her tears of sorrow for the young man and her broken promise release the prince from his prison, and the angry Queen bursts into a cloud of smoke never to be seen again. MacHale's retelling closely follows the traditional version by Norwegian author Peter Asbjornsen. The crescent moon icon that appears at the end of almost every sentence is off-putting and does not seem to have a purpose. Flesher's dark, brooding, stylistic pastels create a mood of foreboding and gloom throughout and fail to lift the story to its joyful conclusion. The palm trees and dress of the characters suggest an Eastern setting rather than thetraditional Scandinavian setting. Both Nancy Willard's version of this story with illustrations by Barry Moser and Mercer Mayer's contribution with illustrations by Michael Hague are far superior and would be better choices for this classic tale.