A Boy and a Bear in a Boat

Featured
 
3.5 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
1717 0
A Boy and a Bear in a Boat
Author(s)
Age Range
6+
Release Date
June 12, 2012
ISBN
9780385752497
Buy This Book
      
A boy and a bear go to sea, equipped with a suitcase, a comic book, and a ukulele. The bear assures the boy that they are traveling a short distance and it really shouldn't take very long. But then they encounter "unforeseeable anomalies": turbulent stormy seas! a terrifying sea monster! and the rank remains of The Very Last Sandwich. The odds are pitted against the boy and the bear and their boat.

Will the Harriet, their trusted vessel, withstand the violent lashings of the salty waves? And will anyone ever answer their message in a bottle?

Editor reviews

2 reviews

More philosophy than story
(Updated: June 23, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
The Little Prince is sometimes considered -- mistakenly, I think -- a children's book. Just because a book is about a child, or about the lessons we want children to learn or about the truths we hope they do not forget as they age, it doesn't make it a book for children. That is, in the end, the reluctant conclusion I reached about (the in some ways truly remarkable) A BOY AND A BEAR IN A BOAT.

To be fair, I liked the book. I appreciate when authors don't tie themselves in knots justifying the odd truths of their fictional worlds. We don't know why a bear is captaining a boat, or why a boy is getting on board, or where he hopes to get to -- these things just are. We don't need to know why.

Yet in the end, the lack of reasons -- of goals -- means that the book loses momentum. The journey becomes too interior, a journey of acceptance and personal development. Such a journey is important, but perhaps not so much to the 10-year-old who still hopes personal development means she will in fact become a pirate king or an Arctic explorer. Teenagers begin to understand that most of their adventures will be inside themselves, and grown-ups too, if we do not forget, know that our inner landscapes are where we will do most of our exploring.

I enjoyed the whimsy of the sandwiches, the mercurial personality of the bear and the growing contentment both characters felt with the fact that their journey would have no end, that the journey was the destination. It's also worth repeating that A BOY AND A BEAR IN A BOAT frequently made me think of A Little Prince, which is high praise indeed.

It just doesn't mean I would suggest it to a child.
Good Points
Beautiful illustrations
Unusual story
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
A three hour tour...
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
2.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
A boy approaches a bear in a boat and asks how long it will take to get "just to the other side". Well, apparently longer than a three-hour tour, because the bear runs into "unforseen anomalies". The duo drift for days and days, subsisting on bizarre sandwiches and, since this is a British author, tea. They run into storms and giant sea monsters, have to catch fish, and end up on a weirdly antique ship after their smaller boat floats away. When that, too, is destroyed, the two sail off into the sunset with the boy using the bear as a boat.
Good Points
Rather cute in a Paddington Bear sort of way, with illustrations by the author.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Mall
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like,...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Poems to Live Your Life By, Chris Riddell, political...
The Claires
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Four beautiful girls. Quadruplets. They are not identical.But each is...
The Life Below
 
4.0
 
4.0 (1)
It was hard enough for Naomi to leave Leo,...
What He Hides
 
4.8
 
0.0 (0)
She wants the truth... or does she? They say...
The Shadows Between Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Tricia Levenseller, author of Daughter of the Pirate King,...
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
It's 1940, and Sarah Goldstein is hiding in plain...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
"more forgetting time. more midnight dances with yourself."...
The Upside of Falling
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
It’s been years since eighteen-year-old Becca Hart believed in...
More Than His Best Friend
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
She’s got a strict rule against dating. Could her...
Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A slow-burn romance in a cutthroat kitchen! There’s more to...
The Midnight Lie (The Midnight Lie, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Set in the world of the New York Times–bestselling Winner’s...
The Winter Duke
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
She survived the curse. Now she must survive the throne....
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the creator of the hit TV series The Bold...
Look Both Ways
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This story was going to begin like all the best...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Members of the secret mermaid community have learned to trust...

Latest Member Reviews

Salty, Bitter, Sweet
 
4.3
"SALTY, BITTER, SWEET is a book about family, forgiveness, grief, and following your passion. Isabella dreams of being a world-class..."
 
4.0
"break your glass slippers is the first book in the poetry series, “you are your own fairy tale,” by award-winning..."
The Upside of Falling
 
3.3
"THE UPSIDE OF FALLING is a YA contemporary romance by Wattpad author Alex Light. The story follows Becca Hart, an..."
The Winter Duke
 
5.0
"THE WINTER DUKE is a thrilling YA fantasy that takes place in a world where magic is controlled by a..."
Most Likely (Most Likely, #1)
 
5.0
"MOST LIKELY is a fantastic YA contemporary about friendship. The book starts with a woman becoming president and reflecting back..."
The Life Below
 
4.0
"After our mindbending landing on the moon back in 1969, we’ve faltered in our quest to explore space. Mars seems..."
The Twin
 
3.7
"Ivy and her twin sister Iris parents divorced when they were ten. Ivy got to live with their father and..."
Devil Darling Spy
 
4.7
"Sarah Goldstein, alias Ursulla Haller, is living right under Nazi rule in 1940 Germany. She's the Shirley Temple of the..."
The Life Below
 
4.0
"Naomi can't help but wonder if there was an ulterior motive behind the decision to kick Leo out of the..."
The Stars We Steal
 
3.7
"Jane Austen in space….yes please! The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne is a futuristic retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion...."
Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
 
4.0
" The story: After living in foster care since the death of her mother, Edie finally..."
Seven Deadly Shadows
 
4.0
"Sixteen-year-old Kira Fujikawa loves helping at her family shrine. She also has a paranormal ability. She sees the not only..."
The Shadows Between Us
 
5.0
"THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US is the highly devourable YA fantasy I have been searching for! This is an enthralling story..."
 
3.3
"The Betrothed is a brand new YA-novel set in the 15th century by Kiera Cass, whom we all know from..."
Remember Me
 
4.0
"‘First rule of storytelling,’ he says, a glint in his eyes.’ Everything is possible.’ Nell is..."
Lobizona
 
5.0
"Sixteen-year-old Manuela, 'Manu' is in hiding from her father's Argentinian crime family. She also runs the risk of being deported..."
A Very Large Expanse of Sea
 
4.7
"Reviewed for YA Books Central A book that should be on every teen's shelf. ..."
Serious Moonlight
 
5.0
"Birdie and Daniel has the most awkward first encounter. So when Birdie started her job in a historic hotel, she..."
Long Way Down
 
5.0
"I feel like I've been asleep for the last 31 years and I just woke up. I am woke. ..."
The Opposite of Always
 
5.0
"Opposite of Always is a heartfelt and stunning debut; that is worthy of all praise. I am in love..."