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A Boy and a Bear In a Boat by Dave Shelton

August 1, 2013

boy bear boatA Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton. Pub. David Fickling Books, 2013.

From time to time there comes a children’s book that is something special, that has the tag Classic written on every page. This is such a book and when I finished it I had a lump in my throat and an urge to yell I want more.

Simply told without a word out of place it is the story of a boy who hops into a boat called Harriet with a bear as captain, and says take me to the other side. The boy falls asleep and when he wakes the bear is still rowing and they are in the middle of an expansive sea.

The two are at sea for a long time and are in survival mode. The bear who is captain, wears a captains hat, insists he knows exactly where they are and where they are going. The boy has doubts. The bear is the ultimate optimist, the boy is sceptical but understands the bear is the key to his survival.

Even optimists have their bad days and when bear does, boy is there for him. Wonderful.

Amazing adventures including a sea monster and a ghost ship.

No smulchy ending either. This is a very thorough, carefully thought out novel for children and adults of all ages. Great read-a-loud at primary level.

One of the best novels I have ever read. I can’t classify it, it is too good for that.

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