THE LITTLE GIRL AND THE BIG BEAR by Joanna--Adapt. Galdone


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It's a clever trick that the little girl plays on the bear who holds her captive--so that, although the earlier part of the story is conventionally folk-ish (with echoes of Goldilocks and Hansel and Gretel), the book is worth sticking with. And kids won't be bored with the little girl's goodbye to her grandparents, berry-picking, discovery that she's lost, and capture by the bear whose forest house she's strayed into. Having made her a servant, he forbids her to leave--and when she asks to be allowed to take some pies to her grandparents, says he'll do it himself. That's what she's been counting on. By more trickery, she hides herself in the bottom of the basket; when he stops, thinking to eat some of the pies, she chides him (supposedly from a lookout in a tree). And when they reach her grandparents, the bear is set upon by dogs and driven off--just as she had calculated too. Not Paul Galdone's jauntiest pictures, but justified almost by the sight of the little girl, ""dripping with berry juice from the broken pies,"" popping up when her grandparents open the basket. Homely stuff, well paced.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Clarion/Houghton Mifflin