He's the world's most helpful(ish) polar bear, for times when only a polar bear will do!
He's great at sorting out problems and he gives the best bear hugs - although sometimes he can squeeze too tight and his fur is tickly!
Arthur Mallows desperately wants an ordinary day, with an ordinary family and most especially, he wants an ordinary brother. But the meltdowns, the unusual behaviour and the constant pressure of a brother who is different is all getting too much for Arthur. That is until a rather unexpected guest turns up on the doorstep of number 29, Ellis Street in the form of a polar bear! From the moment Mister P arrives, he and Arthur are best friends and the other problems in Arthur’s life seem a little more manageable.
A polar bear hidden in your bedroom never says hidden for long and soon mum and dad find out. However, Arthur miraculously convinces his parents that Mister P is tame enough to stay and they make room for him in the garage. Brilliant plan! It would be, if only Mister P wasn’t afraid of spiders. Who knew polar bears were afraid of creepy crawlies? It doesn’t take Mister P long to make himself at home and Arthur begins to feel more comfortable with a polar bear for company than his own family.
What do you do when you have a polar bear living with you? You take him to school of course. Arthur finds out that a school that welcomes diversity is very amicable towards a polar bear. He also discovers that he is instinctively able to help his teacher and friends adjust to their new classmate because of the things he has learnt through having a brother who is different. You need to learn to be flexible, help them feel safe and avoid loud noises at all costs! It turns out that taking a polar bear to school is a huge success and even Mister P enjoys himself.
Arthur loves having a polar bear around and Mister P is even helping Arthur to accept and understand the needs of his brother. Together, they take on the class bully during the football tournament and even enter a competition to win tickets to the cup final, two things Arthur never thought he would be able to do with his brother by his side. Hooray for Mister P!
This is a beautifully written story about brotherly love and sacrifice. It’s well balanced, containing both humour and some very thought provoking and moving moments. A great read for anyone who enjoys a family drama, an animal adventure or has a love of football. Also highly recommended to young carers or siblings struggling to coping with the responsibility of supporting a family member with additional needs. I’d award it a gold star and a tin of sardines!
Me and Mr P byMaria Farrer, illustrated by Daniel Rieley
Oxford University Press ISBN: 978-0192744210