My oldest daughter enjoys reading fairy tales. I personally like reading new tellings of classic stories. When recently offered the chance to review Papa Bear’s Page Fright written by Wade Bradford with illustrations from Mary Ann Fraser from Peter Pauper Press in exchange for my honest opinion, I eagerly accepted the opportunity to add a new title to my home library.
Born and raised in rainy Washington State, author Wade Bradford fell in love with a girl who lived out-of-state and moved to the often sunny and sometimes shaky state of California to dry out a bit. He earned a Masters in Literature from CSUN and currently teaches English at Moorpark College. He has written several picture books and more than thirty plays for children including Around the World in a Bathtub, Sleeping Beauty and the Beast, and 12 Angry Pigs. He has never eaten porridge, hot or cold.
Currently residing in Simi Valley, California with her husband Todd, her three boys, seventeen turtles, and a geriatric newt, illustrator Mary Ann Fraser has written and illustrated many books for children including No Yeti Yet and Heebie-Jeebie Jamboree. She has received multiple awards including Junior Library Guild Selections, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Book Links Book of the Year, IRA Young Reader’s Choice Award, and American Booksellers ”Pick of the List.”
Recommended for readers between the ages of 4 and 8 in preschool through third grade, Papa Bear’s Page Fright tells the story of a little girl named Goldilocks — but with one problem: Papa Bear discovers that he is inside the book and gets page fright. Mama Bear, Baby Bear, and Goldilocks work to help Papa Bear find the courage to remember his lines and finish the story. The 32-page full-color hardback picture book with dust jacket currently costs $12.59 on Amazon with a list price of $16.99.
“This is the story of a little girl named Goldilocks,” begins Papa Bear’s Page Fright in typical fairy tale fashion. “Hello! Welcome to my story,” adds Goldilocks from the bottom of the first page. The story then continues with the introduction of three bears including Papa Bear — who notices something amiss. After Baby Bear explains that the Bear Family is in a story, Papa Bear develops Page Fright and forgets his line. In a panic, he runs amuck through other stories. Both my older kids found the premise of the book quite funny. My preschooler son especially liked when Papa Bear ran from book to book, trying to find a place to hide. I am a fan of new takes on classics, so I found the twist on Goldilocks and the Three Bears quite comical.
In addition to the story, my children also really like the illustrations in Papa Bear’s Page Fright. Fraser offers an illustration style that is slightly cartoonish with a touch of the whimsical. I especially like the way in which the pictures literally speak to the reader: Goldilocks steps into the story on the first page, and Papa Bear freaks out at the narrator and readers. I have already read the story aloud to my youngest two kiddos a few times, and I look forward to reading the book out loud with my kiddos many times in the future.
If you are a fan of fractured fairy tales, definitely check out Papa Bear’s Page Fright written by Wade Bradford and illustrated by Mary Ann Fraser. The book, recommended for readers between the ages of 4 and 8 in preschool through third grade, offers a retelling of the classic Goldilocks tale with a fourth-wall breaking twist: Papa Bear realizes that he is in a book and develops Page Fright. My oldest two children find the story quite funny, and I especially enjoy the illustrations, which bring the story off the page. My kiddos and I enthusiastically recommend giving Papa Bear’s Page Fright a read!
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‘Papa Bear’s Page Fright’ Book Review © 2018 Heather Johnson
Front Cover of ‘Papa Bear’s Page Fright’ © 2018 Heather Johnson
Back Cover of ‘Papa Bear’s Page Fright’ © 2018 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of ‘Papa Bear’s Page Fright’ 1 © 2018 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of ‘Papa Bear’s Page Fright’ 2 © 2018 Heather Johnson