Illustrated by Kathrin Honesta. Book of the Month in The Bookseller. Blackwell’s Children’s Book of the Month. A Primary School Book Club Pick. A Sunday Times book of the year. One of The Guardian‘s best children’s books of the year.
They call me Yanka the Bear. Not because of where I was found – only a few people know about that. They call me Yanka the Bear because I am so big and strong.
Found abandoned in a bear cave as a baby, Yanka has always wondered about where she is from. She tries to ignore the strange whispers and looks from the villagers, wishing she was as strong on the inside as she is on the outside. But, when she has to flee her house, looking for answers about who she really is, a journey far beyond one that she ever imagined begins: from icy rivers to smouldering mountains meeting an ever-growing herd of extraordinary friends along the way.
Interwoven with traditional stories of bears, princesses and dragons, Yanka’s journey is a gorgeously lyrical adventure from the best-selling author of The House With Chicken Legs.
“Marvelously charmed and charming.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Charming and wintry, with a flavour of Russian fairy tales …. Heart-stirring storytelling.” The Sunday Times Best Children’s Books of the Year Feature
“An epic fantasy adventure of princesses, dragons and even a house with chicken legs.” Fiona Noble, The Bookseller Book of the Month
“Richly imagined … filled with crackling snow and fascinating Russian folklore.” The Guardian
“Enchanting … The wildest imaginings have the ring of truth in this spooky fable.” The Telegraph
“I loved this book! Sublime storytelling, the perfect landscape and Mousetrap (a character to rival Reepicheep)” Hilary McKay,author of The Skylarks War
“Grounded in ancient fairytales that feel special and true, and glistening with the very real magic of love and belonging, this is a gem of a story.” Catherine Doyle,author of The Stormkeeper’s Island
“A gorgeous retelling of many folkloric tales, carefully woven together by the silvery thread of Yanka’s own journey. It sparkles with forest magic and the power of fairytales, but has its heart very much in the real world.” Cerrie Burnell, author of The Girl with the Shark’s Teeth
“The Girl Who Speaks Bear feels timeless and urgent, full of tenderly dispensed lessons about belonging, home and wildness. A wondrous tale that will win readers for generations to come.”Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-winning author of The Girl of Ink and Stars
“Readers who enjoyed Gregory Maguire’s Egg and Spoon (2014), Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, the Brothers Grimm, or Baba Yaga lore will revel in this new fairy tale that borrows from the old to make something new.” Booklist, starred review