Found abandoned in a bear cave as a baby, 12-year-old Yanka has always felt out of place in her small village. When she wakes up to find that her legs have become bear legs, she sets off into the forest to discover who she is, on a journey that takes her from icy rivers to smouldering mountains, with an ever-growing group of misfits alongside her…
Illustrated by Kathrin Honesta
It’s taken me a long while to get round to this because I broke my golden rule and let children at school borrow it first. At Christmas, I brought it home and vowed not to loan it out again until I’d read it myself…
Taking traditional tales and weaving them into a brand new story all of their own, The Girl Who Speaks Bear is lyrical, heartwarming storytelling at its best.
Anatoly’s fairytales are woven seemlessly into Yanka’s own story, adding depth and understanding to the journey she undertakes to discover who she is. They would make an amazing short story collection in their own right.
From Sasha and Mamochka in the village, to Mousetrap and Ivan deep in the forest, and a few suprises to delight in, Yanka gathers an eclectic mix of friends to help and guide her on her journey. You can’t help but want to be a part of her adventure.
Stunning illustrations are peppered throughout the story which add an extra layer of magic.
After the House With Chicken Legs, I knew this would be a story to lose myself in, but I seriously wasn’t prepared for it to be this good. It’s the kind of book that can be returned to again and again to savour and wrap yourself in, like a hot chocolate and snug blanket on a cold night, which are the best two accompaniments for this wonderful tale of family, friendship and belonging.