||I loved this book the moment I saw it, from its beautiful slip-cover, its size, weight and gorgeous illustrations they all drew me to it. Eat your heart out Kindle! The book starts quite slowly with the boy asking the bear for a lift. This allows the reader to escape from the hectic pace of modern life and to appreciate, as bear does, the gentle ebb and flow of the water, the beautiful, blue sky and the connection between himself and his passenger. It also means that even the slightest distraction takes on a far greater significance, whether that's pausing for afternoon tea or following a bird which may indicate land. It is, however, the developing relationship between the two shipmates which is the star of the story, and leaves the reader with a warm glow.