Nell and the Cave Bear
Delightful and heart-warming debut story from renowned illustrator of the Horrible History series.
A long, long time ago, a girl lived with her tribe in a cave. As she had no parents of her own, her pet cave bear was her best friend. He followed her everywhere and comforted her whenever she grew weary of all the chores she was given. So when Nell overhears some of the grown-ups planning to give Cave Bear to another tribe, she decides they must run away.
So together they embark on a great adventure, following the stream from their cave down the mountain to wherever it will lead them. Together they encounter huge mammoths and wild hunters, face hunger and thirst, all the time hoping to find somewhere safe to be together.
This heart-warming story is beautifully and simply told, with a delightfully gentle humour, and exquisitely illustrated.
Martin Brown writes as cleverly as he draws. Nell and the Cave Bear is a charming story, full of adventures, humour, and friendship. We loved it! * Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre * I love Martin's first foray into writing fiction: a beautifully illustrated adventure, full of prehistoric fresh air, unlikely friendships and fantastic mammoths. * Sarah McIntyre * Martin writes as beautifully as he draws. It is refreshing to read a book for this age group in which a real child is at the centre of a totally relatable but exciting adventure. I know that readers will be swept along with the story, whether they are reading it for themselves or having the story read to them. And as for Nell and Cave Bear themselves, well... I'm in love. * Kristina Stephenson * Nell lives with her tribe in a cave, and, as she has no parents, a little bear is her constant companion. She has to work hard, helping with chores, and the bear is her comfort when life is tough, so, when she accidentally overhears the elders planning to give the bear away as a present when the tribes meet to celebrate the arrival of Spring, she and Cave Bear run away. Together they follow the stream, encountering mighty mammoths and acquiring a wildcat kitten, dodging fierce members of another tribe who want to eat the bear until, hungry and bedraggled, they find a safe haven. One sub-plot tells of a hilariously inept group of hunters from the Cave tribe, trying unsuccessfully to catch a mammoth, and another describes the journey of two of the women who set off to find Nell. All is well in the end, as an alternative present is very acceptable, so Cave Bear can stay with Nell. The names of the Cave tribe are fun - the elder in charge of everything is Mayv, and we have Soo, Porl, Daev and Kehn, among others - young readers may enjoy working these out. Martin Brown is the illustrator of the phenomenally successful Horrible Histories series, with all its associated spin-offs, and he has chosen to illustrate this, his first novel, in shades of blue, which works very well considering that this story is set in a prehistoric world. This will be fun for Horrible Histories fans, and those who enjoy humour with fanciful history. * Books for Keeps * Martin Brown is best-known for illustrating the Horrible Histories series, but Nell and the Cave Bear (Templar Books, GBP6.99) is his first fiction story. Following the adventures of Nell and her pet bear, the books's gentle humour will tickle any reader. With its core message of friendship and bravery, it is also a charming and comforting read. * The Scotsman * The illustrator of the Horrible Histories series has turned his hand to writing too - and with the bonus of lovely pictures - in this heart-warming large-font tale about a little girl and her pet cave bear who go on an incredible adventure down the mountain. Nell's runaway mission is in order to save her bear from being given away by her tribe, and in the journey that ensues the friends overcome trials and danger in order to stay together. * Absolutely Education * This will be fun for Horrible Histories fans, and those who enjoy humour with fanciful history. * Books For Keeps * Nell has no parents so the tribe take care of her in the cave below the mountain. She sometimes misses having a family of her own but since she found Cave Bear when he was a tiny abandoned cub, he has been her best friend and is all the family she needs. But when she overhears some of the elders discussing a plan to give Cave Bear as a gift to another tribe, Nell is horrified and decides they must run away. As they embark on their exciting adventure to follow the stream until it leads them to safety, Nell has no idea what dangers and thrills lie in store. Nell's exciting story is fast-paced but simply told, without unnecessary details or distractions. Mounting threat is present in the form of a band of wild hunters stalking Cave Bear for his skin, while comic relief is provided by a group from Nell's own tribe, who are attempting to hunt a herd of woolly mammoths without much success. Illustrated throughout in shades of blue, the pictures add character and gentle humour to a story which is ideal for newly independent readers. * Book Trust *
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