Synopses & Reviews
There was a young girl named Halva up in Finnmark who found a
white bear cub alone in the woods. . . . Halva takes the cub home,
where they name her Sister Bear. Not only does Sister Bear hunt for the
family and protect Halva, but she likes to dance while Halva plays the
flute. Halva decides to show off Sister Bear to the king of Denmark.
But on their journey, they run into trouble with some big, ugly, hungry
trolls, and Halva learns just how lucky she is to have a loving friend
like Sister Bear. Author Jane Yolen, often called the Hans Christian
Andersen of America for her work in folk and fairy tales, is perfectly
matched with illustrator Linda Graves, whose richly detailed art is
rendered in pastel, colored pencil, and watercolor.
"There isn't a dull moment in Yolen's rousing retelling of this Norwegian folktale, in which a girl tames a polar bear cub, defeats a band of tattooed trolls, and arrives at the court of the King of Denmark to royal acclaim. In the original, a bear trainer is the hero; Yolen (the How Do Dinosaurs series) has swapped him for a girl with yellow braids named Halva, a transformation that could seem contrived, but that Yolen executes with grace. 'These are trolls. Ten feet high, green teeth, terrible manners,' the trolls' victim, Gusterson, tells Halva. 'Sister Bear will take care of everything,' she replies, and she and her bear are as good as their word. Graves's (V Is for Von Trapp) characters have the romantic attraction of costumed toys, and nearly every spread features a loving look at a traditional Scandinavian garment and its intricate needlework. There aren't many readers who wouldn't like a pet bear of their own to defeat devious creatures and attract gifts from royalty; Yolen knows a good story when she sees one. Ages 4 8. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.