'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 15 December 2015

Review: My Father is a Polar Bear

Andrew Van Diemen MacLeish has three fathers. One is his real father, one is a step-father named Douglas, and the other is a father he's never met. A polar bear.

Andrew first sees the polar bear in a magazine--a photo of two fierce-looking polar bears about to eat two children. His brother, Terry, who had saved up all his pocket money to buy the magazine, points to the fatter polar bear on the left hand side of the image, and tells his younger brother that this bear is their real dad. His name is Peter Van Diemen (but he must not tell Douglas and he must not tell his mum!).

One day, the boys feel called to seek out their polar bear father. I mean, wouldn't you do the same? And so begins a story of family bonds and ties and mysteries--tinged with a whimsical sadness but also a joyful togetherness.

Illustrated exquisitely, this is a high text story that explores the question of family and its players. The story would work very well read in a classroom setting ... but have tissues on standby for the emotional ending.

Title: My Father is a Polar Bear
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Illustrator: Felicita Sala
Publisher: Walker, $19.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 September 2015
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket, small format
ISBN: 9781406306576
For ages: 6 - 10
Type: Picture Book