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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Boy And A Bear In A Boat In A Book
Having just finished reading this book I felt compelled to find out what other people made of it while hoping that they all enjoyed the adventure as much as I did. Upon discovering at the time of writing that there was just one Amazon review of the book, I was saddened.

While aimed at children between the ages of 7 and 12, this book can and should be read at...
Published on 25 Mar 2012 by R. Woodcock

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book about making a relationship but an anomaly
I had a read very generous reviews of this book and was intrigued when I saw the cover in my library, thinking it might be an adult book as much as a childrens book.After reading it I think it is really a childrens book, and defined by it's pace and slow passages of explanation that have wit and the use of 'anomaly' that might explain the nature of the book. I suspected...
Published on 6 July 2012 by Widdas


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Boy And A Bear In A Boat In A Book, 25 Mar 2012
This review is from: A Boy and a Bear in a Boat (Hardcover)
Having just finished reading this book I felt compelled to find out what other people made of it while hoping that they all enjoyed the adventure as much as I did. Upon discovering at the time of writing that there was just one Amazon review of the book, I was saddened.

While aimed at children between the ages of 7 and 12, this book can and should be read at any age. While I can't say that I am a regular reader of kid's fiction, it was the books curious cover that first caught my attention and peaked my interest to the point that I had to pick it up and read about it. The synopsis grabbed me immediately and as I flicked through the pages glimpsing the wonderful illustrations I was sold.

The story is as basic as the title suggests: A Boy and a Bear set off in a Boat and this is what happens next.

The Bear is the little boat's Captain, and the Boy is the passenger. What was supposed to be a simple journey "to the other side" soon turns into a grand marine adventure lasting weeks at sea. During this time, the pair find themselves working together battling hunger, dangerous creatures, "unforeseeable anomalies" and, indeed, themselves, all while killing time playing the same games and reading the same things over and over and over again.

Dave Shelton's characterisations are lovingly and believably brought to life. The boy is a normal young lad, impatient, easily bored, fidgety, and lacks full control of his emotions sometimes doing the opposite of what his mind tells him to. The Bear on the other hand is much more reserved and calm with a patience mastered only through his times at sea, and his gruff, sometimes threatening exterior is contradicted by his surprising sensitivity to the Boy's immature outbursts.

Perhaps the most surprising character in the story, and the only one of the three to have a known name, is the Boat itself, Harriet. The Harriet is conveyed charmingly through it's history. Filled with bits and bobs left by other passengers on previous journeys, packed neatly yet forcefully under the seats, the boat's contents become life savers at points. The Bear's own attachment to "her" is always obvious through his maintenance and there are times where you, the reader, get concerns for it's safety.

Scattered regularly throughout the book are the author's accompanying illustrations, all of which are an absolute delight. Every so often we are also treated to a double page colour illustration that are nothing short of dazzling. I want Dave Shelton to illustrate all children's books from now on, thank you.

Every once in a while a book comes along that you just can't help but love. I keep very few books once I've read them, and this is a keeper. As I read, I got completely caught up from first meeting the characters, being enlightened as to what the book cover signifies, straight to the story's unexpected and surprising conclusion. By the end I was quite simply lost for words to describe how I felt about it. It is for this reason (and many others) that this book has a permanent place on my bookshelf.

Here's hoping for a Major Animation Movie release!!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant boy and a bear in a boat, 28 Jan 2012
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This review is from: A Boy and a Bear in a Boat (Hardcover)
Everything about this book is a joy. The cover is a work of genius, the illustrations are perfect, and the story is wonderful. I love ebooks, but volumes like this are a genuine pleasure to hold in your hand. As for the story - the titular boy sets off in the boat with its captain, a bear. What should have been a short journey (whither and whence, we are never told) turns into both adventure and misadventure, with shipwrecks and seamonsters, dodgy sandwiches and endless games of I Spy. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Boy and a Bear in a Boat, 22 Jun 2013
I was a children's bookseller for a well known chain of high street bookshops, and when this little hardback first came into store with its plain blue cover, I was intrigued. No garish colours, no cartoons, just a blue slipcover with a tea/coffe stain. I kept picking it up, wondering how it could appeal to a 5 - 8 year old (the category in which it was placed), and how I could possibly sell it. I borrowed it, took it home and read it, and haven't stopped thinking of it since (two years later!). I really wanted to hear other people's opinions, because, to me, there is so much more going on - is the boat, Harriet, named for the boy's Mother? Has she died, and the bear is the Father, captaining the boy to safety? In which case, is he a terrible cook (the sandwich) and a terrible conversationalist? Is the thought of Harriet the only thing they can cling to when everything seems lost? I'll never know, but it is a very lovely, beautifully written book, with superb illustrations. Read it: it won't disappoint.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic. Wish I had grandchildren to read it with., 2 Jun 2012
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This review is from: A Boy and a Bear in a Boat (Hardcover)
You can judge this book by its cover for both inside and out are witty, deceptively simple and charming.

The title tells all for it is from beginning to end about a boy and a bear in a boat. It's also about growing up, trust, parenting, optimism and all sorts of others things I probably won't realise until I have read it a few more times. I've cherished Richard Bach's Illusions for most of my life and I class this alongside it. I know I'll be recommending it to friends and rereading it myself again and again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book about making a relationship but an anomaly, 6 July 2012
This review is from: A Boy and a Bear in a Boat (Hardcover)
I had a read very generous reviews of this book and was intrigued when I saw the cover in my library, thinking it might be an adult book as much as a childrens book.After reading it I think it is really a childrens book, and defined by it's pace and slow passages of explanation that have wit and the use of 'anomaly' that might explain the nature of the book. I suspected it might become an ecological tale but was relieved when it didn't. It is a good tale of the trials and tribulations of making a relationship, with a brave ending, but unfortunately not up to the publishers claims like many books. Enjoyable, a good read for holidays or with kids on a sea journey.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Instant Children's Classic., 29 Sep 2014
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Let's face it, there is nothing more exciting in the world than opening up a book and finding a voice, a character or a story that you instantly connect with. For me, B&ABIAB was such a book. The plot (if there is one) is negligible. I loved spending time with the nameless Boy and Bear, and their aimless journey across a never-ending ocean. This is a real exercise in how a writer can create a whole world just using character, and how to populate their story with two (yes, just two) people you instantly want to read more of.

The story and the style bring to mind writers such as Flann O'Brien , Samuel Beckett, and Tom Stoppard, but accessible to all ages. If I've any complaint, it is that the book was too short. I could have easily kept reading this book about nothing! The illustration by the author Dave Shelton are perfect also, capturing the innocence and absurdity of the story. More please!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 'Lost' for kids..., 8 Nov 2013
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Jon Driscoll (Oxfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
It wasn't terrible - the characters and the writing are good, not great but I kept expecting there to be a point and there simply wasn't. I was looking for a deeper meaning and an unexpected twist but got neither. It just went on. It was the first book of this duration that we've read with our son and I'm now slightly afraid he'll think all long books are boring books. I suppose it's bold and different which is to be applauded but it's hardly a 5-star book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A quirky children's book or existentialist metaphor. Take your pick., 2 July 2013
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This review is from: A Boy and a Bear in a Boat (Hardcover)
This is a strange book and I would recommend buying the hardback rather than the paperback. The hardback includes full colour illustrations that interweave beautifully with the text. The paperback uses much poorer quality black and white images which are easy to gloss over.

A boy gets into a boat with a bear and starts his journey. We don't know anything about his reason for travel or his destination. Together the boy, bear and boat encounter a number of adventures, but beware, this is not an action story. Much of the time, very little happens and at times It felt like a children's cross between 'Life of Pi' and 'Waiting for Godot'. Simply written, this is suitable for younger and older children - both my 10 year old and 16 yr old enjoyed it though for different reasons: my youngest thought it was cute, my oldest liked it as a metaphor for life. Me, I loved the illustrations, which brings me back to my first point- buy this edition, the hardback! Short listed for the Carnegie medal 2013.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Splish Splish Splish, 2 Nov 2014
A nice book. The two character's, the boy and the bear each set sail to sea with the bear (captain) rowing his boat. They have several anomalies along their way. I found the story a little long but enjoyable with a sense of humour helping it along. The front cover gives a great insight; along with the brilliant illustrations into the trouble found out at sea.
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5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful, 11 Mar 2014
one of the best (children's) books I've read (aloud) with my 8 yr old son.
It is moving, hilarious, wonderful, magical - really sinister at times.
A Boy and a Bear in a Boat is beautiful.
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A Boy and a Bear in a Boat
A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton (Hardcover - 5 Jan 2012)
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