Prince Bear

Helen Heine, Author, Helme Heine, Author, The German, Translator Margaret K. McElderry Books $14.95 (31p) ISBN 978-0-689-50484-6
This droll, expertly orchestrated book might be termed an anti-fairy tale, in which Heine ( One Day in Paradise ) gleefully confutes the logic of legend. His fable tells of bears, who could once turn into princesses by kissing them, and princesses, who--if ``bored with living in a castle and always being sweet and good''--could easily become bears by galloping into the forest on horseback. But civilization and bureaucracy interfere with these charmed lives: trees are felled and roads built, bears are obliged to apply for licenses to hunt or fish, and princesses, overwhelmed with requests, refuse to receive any more kisses. A standoff between placard-brandishing bear protesters and princesses by now afraid to leave their castles results in a stalemate, frustrating all concerned. Heine's winsome, spirited watercolors are full of mood and motion, sweetly sending up the foibles of human politics. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Genre: Children's
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