Krista the Krazy Kataloguer's Reviews > Soldier Bear

Soldier Bear by Bibi Dumon Tak
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I really enjoyed this unusual novel, though it hardly seemed like a children's book, as the characters were all Polish soldiers and animals. Translated from the Dutch, this story based on true events is about a group of Polish soldiers captured by the Russians in World War II and sent to join the British in Iran. While in the desert one day, the group encounters a young boy with a baby bear in a sack, which they obtain by trading food for the bear. They keep it as a pet and mascot, and the bear travels with them from Iran to Iraq to Egypt and across the Mediterranean to Italy, where the fighting is occurring, and, after the war, all the way to Scotland. It's an absolutely delightful tale, despite the wartime setting. Young readers will enjoy the antics of the bear and his other animal friends--two dogs and a monkey. The author thoughtfully provides a few photos at the end of the book of the real Voytek the bear and one of the Polish soldiers. This book won the 2012 Mildred L. Batchelder Award for best translation into English, and rightfully so. Highly recommended for adults and kids.
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Krista the Krazy Kataloguer Abigail wrote: "Sounds intriguing! Adding it the the ever-growing Mt TBR!"

I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I like that--Mt. TBR. Mine is getting to be as high as Mt. Everest!

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