Me and Mister P: Maya’s Storm
Maria Farrer, illustrated by Daniel Rieley
Oxford University Press
In this latest story, polar bear Mister P washes up on the beach close to young Maya’s home in Lighthouse Cottage. Maya is still getting used to being part of a new family – Mum, Dad, big brother Max and sister, Iris. She now feels safe there but memories of her old life in another country haunt her occasionally.
Maya has formed a special bond with Granny Anne who lives on the edge of the village, but other family members are worried about Gran –her forgetfulness and at times erratic behaviour, seem to be on the increase. Things on the Gran front are going to have to change, says Mum.
So when Maya and Gran discover at the back of a cave, a huge polar bear with a suitcase bearing a label which reads Mister P, 1 Lighthouse Cottages, Maya knows that she now has more than just Gran to worry about. She certainly doesn’t want her parents finding out about the new furry visitor and Gran seems to have taken a shine to him.
But how are they going to provide him with the diet of fish he needs?
However Maya cannot spend all her time worrying about Mister P. There’s a birthday party to be organised too.
No matter where Mister P lands, he always manages to end up as a hero and so it is here. Along the way though the rest of Maya’s family of course, discovers him – first her brother at whose place of work he causes a degree of alarm, then Iris and her parents.
Eventually Mister P gets itchy feet; he cannot stay forever after all; but when he does go Maya knows she’ll never forget him; and her brother gives her a vey special something as a reminder of their time together.
Funny, disquieting at times and tinged with sadness, but readers will close the book with an abiding feeling of warmth and an even greater endearment than ever towards its main protagonist. As always, Daniel Rieley has done a great job with his expressive greyscale illustrations.