Bear in the Sky

Stefan Czernecki, Author
Stefan Czernecki, Author Hyperion Press $14.95 (64p) ISBN 978-0-920534-63-2
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
With the delicate charm and compelling flavor of an Old World fairy tale, these gifted authors spin the story of the origin of the constellation Ursa Major. A brown bear who ``liked nothing better than to dance to the songs of the birds'' is wounded by hunters, and nursed back to health by a poor gypsy couple. A beautiful vest, embroidered with stars and the name ``Zloty,'' is given to the bear, whose terpsichorean skills eventually cheer an unhappy princess. Revealing her true colors, the malevolent princess imprisons poor Zloty, who pines for the out-of-doors and his gypsy guardians. Enraged that her new playmate will no longer dance, the princess throws the velvet vest out the window; it disappears, leaving only a stairway of stars. The hapless bear ascends into the sky, where he dances still. Containing the stuff that classic legends are made of, this gracefully told story will please old and young alike. Though somewhat lacking in action, Czernecki's highly stylized paintings have a beguiling, Middle European quality that perfectly suits this mythlike narrative. Ages 4-up. (Aug.)
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