The Bear who Sailed the Ocean on an Iceberg by Emily Critchley

Published by Everything with Words, 2021.

12-year-old Patrick is surprised to find a polar bear sleeping in the freezer in his garage. It turns out that Wilbur Ambrose Cedric Barnaby Montague, the third (Monty for short) is a well-read, articulate animal with a fondness for condensed milk and Oscar Wilde.

Trying to keep a polar bear secret is another problem that Patrick could do without. His best friend has moved away and he’s being bullied at school. Worst of all, his baby sister died just hours after being born and his mom is now suffering from depression.

The Bear who Sailed the Ocean on an Iceberg is a touching and heartwarming story. It’s witty and charming – most notably because of the wonderful Monty. I loved his philosophical musings on life!

The book sensitively explores baby loss, grief and depression. Another theme running throughout the book is that of friendship: school friendships, intergenerational friendships and even interspecies ones! The book has a strong environmental message too. It highlights the problems caused by global warming and the melting of the ice caps. We see first hand the disruption to food chains and the effects of loss of habitat.

An engagingly topical tale.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 8+

Thank you to Everything with Words for sending me this book to review.

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