The Bravest Ever Bear has everything a good story should have: a bear, a dragon, a princess, a wolf, a troll, even a penguin and a sausage. With silly twists and characters contradicting each other even complaining to the reader this is the kind of anti-fairy tale kids will want to hear again and again. Allan Ahlberg takes a group of familiar fairy tale characters, each telling their own story, until the bravest ever bear gets fed up and decides to tell his story. Once upon a time there was a perfect bear. This bear did lots of brave things. After slaying a dragon, winning a refrigerator (and a living room set), the bear meets his princess. From there, the characters really take over, each making the story their own. Paul Howard's playful illustrations are sure to keep even those easily distracted readers eagerly awaiting the next page. It's obvious that both the author and illustrator had fun with this book, as will the reader.

Just in case you're wary of another same old fairy tale, The Bravest Ever Bear offers several stories wrapped up in one, with twists, turns, and restarts on every page. For those who love fairy tales, or those who might be looking for something new, The Bravest Ever Bear makes for one fun story at bedtime or any time. The last story wraps it all up with, The Bed. Once upon a time there was a bed . . . with a bear in it. Ê Good! the bear tells us. The End. And he drifts off to sleep. But of course, the penguin has plans of his own! Katie McAllaster Weaver writes from her home in Benicia, California.

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