Little Bear

Little Bear
Richard Jones
Simon & Schuster

One day, a Monday to be precise, a little boy discovers a polar bear in his garden – a very tiny one. So small is the bear that he can sit in the boy’s hands. The boy speaks to the bear and realising he must be lost wants to help him. Over the next few days two things grow – the polar bear and the friendship between bear and boy and by Wednesday, it’s time for the two to set sail.

They embark on a journey that takes until Sunday when the bear is reunited with his family. After a day playing with the polar bears, the boy knows he must say goodbye to his special friend and sail back home. This he does, safe in the knowledge that the bear’s love will stay with him.

With the caring boy narrating the story, and Richard’s wonderfully gentle portrayal of the events and the growing loving bond between bear and boy, we truly feel as though we’re with them throughout. It’s this care and concern that lies at the heart of the story: “Are you lost, little bear. Can I help you?” comes the boy’s first question; then on Thursday we read ‘he had grown too big for my hat … So he curled up tightly, safe and warm in my bag.’ while on Saturday we see this:

Comforting and reassuring, this is heart-winner of a book that lingers in the mind and is open to several interpretations depending on what readers/listeners bring to the story.

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