By Author / Illustrator
Samuel Langley-Swain, illus Mirna Imamovic
Friends and family
Paperback / softback
A heartfelt Christmas story of friendship and belonging, centered around the unbreakable bond between a boy and a bear, with a message about sustainability at the heart.
Due to his autism, Arctic-enthusiast Arthur does not like Christmas, the noise, the lights, and the crowds. He keeps his precious toy polar bear close for security, but after losing him and asking Father Christmas for a new one, he wakes up to find a REAL polar bear in his garden! Arthur names his new friend Bjorn, but in spite of his best efforts to keep him cold and happy, it soon becomes clear that he needs to help his friend return to where he belongs. Time for some more Christmas magic . . .
Where Bjorn Belongs is such a lovely tale of friendship, and how having a dream and following it can make the world a better place. My colleagues and I think this book will become a classic of the future for every Christmas. "Do you think if I lost my Tigger and asked Santa to help me find it, I’d get a real tiger?," asked a wide-eyed J aged 4.
A gem of a story for our youngsters, actually not just the youngest, but the older children too. The strong bond between the main character, Arthur, and Bjorn is reminiscent of that between Morpurgo's War Horse, Albert and Joey. Our year 6 teachers also saw a link to STEM careers linked to their Arctic topic through Arthur's job. So many possibilities included in such a short story.
Divine! Well worth a read for every primary school class this Christmas. Don't miss out.
Picture book / Reviewed by Sharon Porter, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 3+