Charming, entertaining and utterly original: this book will leave every reader with a huge grin across their face.
A boy and a bear go to sea, equipped with a suitcase, a comic book and a ukulele. They are only travelling a short distance and it really shouldn't take long. But their journey doesn't quite go to plan . . .
Faced with turbulent storms, a terrifying sea monster and the rank remains of a very dangerous sandwich, the odds are against our unlikely heroes. Will the Harriet, their trusted vessel, withstand the violent lashings of the salty waves? And will anyone ever answer their message in a bottle?
Brilliantly funny and tender, this beautiful book maps the growth of a truly memorable friendship and explores how, when all else is lost, the most unexpected joys can be found.
“Rich in atmosphere and gently humorous, this is a delightful small-scale but epic adventure . . . A book to savour”
“Just occasionally, a gentle funny little book pops up in which the story, tone, illustrations and even cover are so perfectly attuned to each other, and to the children for whom it is intended, that it lifts one's spirits. This is such a book”
The Daily Mail
“A charming journey of discovery at sea for eight year olds and above”
The Daily Telegraph
“One of the most original children's books I've ever read”
“A Boy and a Bear in a Boat is a joy to read: slightly surreal, funny, a little bit scary. It's about friendship and trials but also simply about indulging your imagination . . . The illustrations are just gorgeous, also ranging from daft to dark and beyond. And the whole package has just the right amount of delightful eccentricity, replacing the bear's landless map with fake aging and even a tea stain. I just can't imagine what more you could want”
“I liked it because of the excitement - I loved the way all of these exciting things just kept happening to them by accident, and it was really funny. My favourite part of the story is when their makeshift raft flies off the rock column into the sea. But the whole book is lovely, lots of fun and has lots of lovely pictures”
Wilberfoss Primary School Blog
“This title says it all... And yet somehow doesn't. This is indeed a story about a boy, and a bear, in a boat - seriously off course, and down to the Very Last Sandwich. Sometimes scary, sometimes deeply touching, and often very funny indeed. Dave Shelton's writing carries echoes of both Antoine De Saint-Exupery and John Boyne, as his characters display real emotions in a succession of increasingly surreal situations. The book ends with a new horizon; asking pupils to write the next scene would offer a great opportunity to stretch their imaginations as well as experiment with dialogue.”
“A Boy and a Bear in a Boat is an absolute gem of a book. It is a beautifully tender and enchanting story of a developing friendship between two most unlikely characters, in the most improbable of settings...The story broaches many themes including friendship, hope and courage to name a few, but touches on them with lightness and wonderful humour, including some particularly funny moments and splendid repartee...The book, as an object, is absolutely stunning. The cover itself is marvellous, complete with tea stain and worn edges and one must applaud the publisher for taking a possible risk by choosing style and beauty over a more "commercial" cover. The inside illustrations work in perfect unison with the tone of the text. The bear is particularly glorious; there something so kind and safe about his demeanour.”
“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.”
We Love This Book