Elise Muzard Clark enters a world of Shapeshifters and Kingmakers. The Ice Bear by Jackie Morris Frances Lincoln, 2010 ISBN: 9781845079680
This is a story set in the beginning of time, when people and animals lived together on the Earth and there was no difference between them. “Bear, human, raven, fox, even snow and ice, all had spirit, all had soul.”
I liked this book but I felt really sorry for the mother bear because her cub got stolen. And at first I didn’t get how the bear cub turned into a baby wrapped in bear fur, but now I do; it’s because bear, human, raven, fox, snow and ice shared their spirit and soul in that time.
I really like the description of the bears and where they live – they use lots of interesting word choices – and I like the illustrations, especially the one where all the bears point their noses to the boy who used to be a bear cub. He is sitting in the middle and this is when he realises he is their brother.
I like when the child decides to be a bear for half a year, and the other half a human, but I`m really disappointed that they made a mistake introducing the story on the inside cover of the book. Instead of saying “she held the second child close” they wrote “she hold the second child close”.
But the phrase I liked best of all in this book was “her ice tears formed scars on her cheeks”.
The King and the Seed by Eric Maddern & Paul Hess Frances Lincoln, 2009 ISBN: 9781845079260
This is a book about being brave enough to tell the truth. King Karnak is worried because he is dying and there is no heir to the throne. So he holds a competition to find one, giving his knights and nobles a tiny seed to grow. Jack, a farmer’s son, is also given a seed so he can have a go too.
I think that Jack would make a great friend because he had the courage and the honesty to tell the King he had grown nothing from the seed. I don’t know why all the other knights and lords didn’t use the seed that the King gave them to grow the flower; maybe it was because they thought they would be king with the biggest and the best flower, but they were wrong.
A phrase that the author used nicely was “he looked in the mirror one morning and saw an old man looking back at him, his hair silver, his eyes cornered with crow’s feet”.
Some of the illustrations in the book are really funny – like someone stabbing a pineapple, and two people always nose to nose scowling.
In the end I’m happy that Jack gets to be king because he has lots of children to be his heirs and makes the kingdom look like a giant garden centre.
Jackie Morris and Eric Maddern are both regular contributors to Resurgence. The Ice Bear is one of the beautifully illustrated children’s books now available from the Resurgence shop www.resurgence.org/shop/childrenfiction