Saturday, December 4, 2021

Review - Little Bear

Little Bear

by Richard Jones
Date: 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's UK
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

On Monday, a boy finds a polar bear in his garden... only, this polar bear is so small he can fit in the palm of the boy's hand. "Are you lost, Little Bear?" the boy asks. "Can I help you?"

Day by day the bear grows - and so does their friendship - until the boy realises that it's time for the bear to go home.

A tender, stunningly illustrated fable about letting go with love from the creator of Perdu.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a fanciful story about a little boy who finds a tiny polar bear in his garden. Over time, the bear grows, and the boy realizes that it's time for the bear to return to his family. So the two set out in a boat with red sails and head up to the land of snow and ice.

I'm not sure if children will necessarily pick up on the message about "letting go with love", but the fanciful tale is sure to spark the imagination. The pictures are rather adorable, too, especially when the polar bear is a teeny, tiny thing.

(Normally, I'm not a fan of books where kids interact with bears as if they're just giant, friendly stuffed toys. But this one is so far into into the surreal that I don't see that much of a problem with the safety messages. It's unlikely that a child would set off alone on a sailboat, either, so having a polar bear as a friend is safely in the realm of fantasy.)

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.83 out of 5

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