Life is not easy for Ruby. Her dad has left the family and her mum struggles to cope, hardly able to get up some days. This means that Ruby has to help care for her baby brother and some days isn’t able to attend school. Her dream - learning to skateboard- seems destined to remain just that as there will never be any spare money or time to spend on this.
Enter Mr P in his hot air balloon. Although Ruby is not keen to befriend him initially, she soon warms to his polar bear ways and loving heart and realises that a friend in need- whatever shape it comes in- is a friend indeed.
Mr P is such an adorable character. He says not a word throughout the story, yet his thoughts and emotions are clear to see! Although initially he seems to add to Ruby’s problems, it soon becomes clear that he is just what she needs. Ruby, sadly like many child-carers, has learned to be fiercely independent and determined and her encounter with Mr P makes her stronger in many ways as she comes to understand herself and others better.
Although covering some serious issues, the story also offers lovely moments of humour. Mr P learning to skateboard on his four skateboards is wonderful and I am ever hopeful of finding a polar bear amongst the fish fingers in the supermarket!
Books which encourage empathy and understanding are so important and Maria Farrer has produced another winner with this story. Hopefully, there will be many more adventures from Mr P in the future.
Me and Mr P Ruby’s Star Maria Farrer, illustrated by Daniel Rieley
OUP ISBN: 978-0192766519