LEOLA AND THE HONEYBEARS by Melodye Benson  Rosales

LEOLA AND THE HONEYBEARS

Age Range: 3 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Rosales spins the story of the three bears with African-American elements; Leola, in the Goldilocks role, runs off to do what she wants, in spite of her grandmother’s warning not to go astray. She gets lost in the woods, is frightened by a weasel, and comes across the inn that the three bears run; they’ve left the place while some baked goods cool, and so the story line joins the original. Leola misbehaves, eating what she’s not supposed to, sits even though she hasn’t been invited, and is found by the three bears upon their return. They ask after her manners, which she admits she’s ignored; her tears show her for the child she is, and the mother bear loads a basket and sends a contrite Leola home with an escort. The artwork is a curious combination of the overly observed and caricature. Leola is drawn with exacting realism, while the bears have the faces and demeanor of the stuffed toys won at a carnival. The story is just as stuffed, wordy beyond effect, and without personality; the cautionary elements are thoroughly diluted, and the only suspense—in the encounter with the weasel—quickly dissipates. (Picture book/folklore. 3-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-590-38358-2
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1999




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