Thursday, February 13, 2014
Reader's Diary #1095- Miranda Currie, illustrated by Alison McCreesh: Anna and the Bear
I'm slowly working my way through Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, and found myself comparing the character of Laurie with Colin from Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden. I know fairy tales (especially Disney's version of fairy tales) have taken a lot of heat for the whole Damsel in Distress trope, but I started to wonder if there wasn't a lesser known Dude in Distress. I was amused then when I can across Anna and the Bear, by Miranda Currie and illustrated by Alison McCreesh, in which a slovenly male bear gets hygiene advice from a female human, and is finally able to integrate into society again. You know what they say? Behind every great bear...
Don't worry, I'm not turning into a masculinist just yet! Still, if you can think of any other book that would fit the Dude in Distress theme, I'd love to hear them in the comments!
As for the book, it's cute, though I'd have appreciated the story more without the rhymes. Sometimes the lines scanned awkwardly and as rhymes weren't always available, there was an over reliance on near rhymes (e.g., human/ bruins).
I quite like the illustrations, but full disclosure, I once took a drawing class with McCreesh, and am in awe of her talent (though I was a lazy student and didn't acquire an iota of her skills). It may be hard to tell from the cover, as she's chosen a really simple cartoon face, but the art inside is stellar. Especially the backgrounds done in pen and watercolour. (I think. See? I learned nothing. Again, no fault of McCreesh.)