Bear on the Homefront

Stephanie Innes and Harry Endrulat, illus. by Brian Deines. Pajama Press (Orca, dist.), $19.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-927485-13-2
The creative team behind A Bear in War moves from WWI to WWII to continue the story of Aileen Rogers (Innes’s great-aunt) and her teddy bear, inspired by real events. Now an adult who works as a nurse, Aileen gives Teddy to two British siblings, Grace and William, who are among many children arriving in Canada to be kept safe during the war. Rendered in a muted palette, Deines’s lush oil paintings showcase the Canadian landscape as the children make their way by train to Winnipeg to live on a family’s farm until the war ends. Once again, Teddy narrates the story, and his separation from Aileen tenderly mirrors the children’s distance from their parents. All parties are reunited, but the authors make it clear that these happy endings took time: “The war did not end soon. It went on for five years, until William’s tenth birthday.” Ages 5–8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/18/2014
Release date: 10/01/2014
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