I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on a wonderful children’s book that would make an ideal Christmas present for younger readers. The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson and is illustrated by Kathrin Honesta.
Let me show you what it is all about…
They call me Yanka the Bear. Not because of where I was found – only a few people know about that. They call me Yanka the Bear because I am so big and strong.
Found abandoned in a bear cave as a baby, Yanka has always wondered about where she is from. She tries to ignore the strange whispers and looks from the villagers, wishing she was as strong on the inside as she is on the outside. But, when she has to flee her house, looking for answers about who she really is, a journey far beyond one that she ever imagined begins: from icy rivers to smouldering mountains meeting an ever-growing herd of extraordinary friends along the way.
Interwoven with traditional stories of bears, princesses and dragons, Yanka’s journey is a gorgeously lyrical adventure from the best-selling author of The House With Chicken Legs.
Oh my goodness what an absolutely beautiful read this book was. It is the story of Yanka, she is known as Yanka the Bear as she is bigger and stronger than others of her age. Even though she lives happily in her village with her Grandmother, there has always been a question she has wanted answers to. Where did she come from and who were her parents. The story is one of Yanka discovering her roots and finding out who she is and where she feels she belongs.
This is an absolutely brilliant read that is full of adventure and magical folklore tales that have a feel of Eastern European folklore to them. Dark mysterious forests full of wonderful creatures and things that you would find in fairy tales. A tale of bears, a dragon, a lone wolf, a weasel, an elk and a walking house with chicken legs have all been wonderfully woven into a totally captivating story.
The descriptions of the animals, creatures and surroundings are wonderful and it was so easy for me to see what was described. This was enhanced by some very simple but wonderful illustrations by Kathrin Honesta, these complimented the story so well and in such a subtle but suitable way. Just look at the cover can you see the bear?
The story itself is actually a book of stories that have been interwoven to create a bigger story and I loved how each of these little stories started in the classic “Once upon a time” way. This for me adds a touch of magic and took me back to wonderful stories I read as a child. Talking of children’s stories, this is actually who this book is aimed at and I am so glad I read it because I loved it so much.
The story is a journey of discovery for Yanka and how she is trying to find her place, by this I mean where she feels she belongs. She is a girl who is conflicted and feels that because of her strength and size she could be a danger to others around her. It makes her wary of joining in or accepting help. In her own journey, she discovers so much about herself as well as realising things she was not aware of before.
This is a beautifully written book that has its roots in the fairy tales of old, it has a wonderful flow and fabulous descriptions. This is the second book the author has written and I have not yet read the first one, I will be soon though as I have just ordered a copy of her first book “The House with Chicken Legs”.
The Girl Who Speaks Bear is a book that I would definitely recommend.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx