Bookshop Reviews

A Boy and a Bear in a Boat

By Dave Shelton

Recommended by: The Chepstow Bookshop + 1 others

Bookshop name The Chepstow Bookshop
 
Website www.chepstowbooks.co.uk
 
Their  
recommendation A refreshingly different tale of a boy who shares a longer-than-expected journey with a large bear in a rowing boat. This is an insightful read that is both poignant and laugh out loud funny. The developing relationship between the boy and the bear is beautifully observed. It captures the everyday minutiae of situations every child experiences – boredom, questioning authority, making things worse while trying to help – and sets these in a surreal world of a boy in a boat rowed by a bear encountering adventures whilst “not lost” on the high seas. Look out for sea monsters, unforeseeable anomalies and a rather disturbing “last sandwich.” I read this to my seven year old son (it would be suitable for 6+ years), it was a slow burn, we both enjoyed it and thought about it for many weeks afterwards.
Bookshop name The Mainstreet Trading Company Ltd
 
Website www.mainstreetbooks.co.uk
 
Their  
recommendation 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.