Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Review: Bear on the Homefront
Publish June 24, 2014
Bear on the Home Front is the sequel to A Bear in War, written and illustrated by the same creative team: authors, Stephanie Innes and Harry Endrulat, and illustrator, Brian Deines. The first book told the moving tale of a girl, her soldier father, and the little teddy bear she sent him during World War I. In the second book, the action moves to World War II Canada and war guests (British children sent to Canada to keep them safe). The little girl, Aileen, is now a young nurse, escorting war guests from Halifax to their new homes. Her much-loved Teddy is with her. Aileen and Teddy befriend two children, Grace and her younger brother William, who are travelling to Winnipeg. It is to Teddy that a homesick William confides all his hopes and fears as the train takes them across the country. When the children reach their new home, Aileen allows William to keep Teddy with him until the end of the war. Innes and Endrulat cleverly tell the story from Teddy’s point of view, so the reader, like Teddy, hears Aileen’s explanations of what is going on as well as William’s and Grace’s secrets. Like the two children, Teddy ends up spending the war far from his beloved Aileen wondering if he will ever see her again. Brian Deines soft atmospheric illustrations and rich colours convey an old-fashioned feel to the story. An afterword gives some background on the real Aileen (great-aunt of Stephanie Innes) and the real Teddy who now resides at the Canadian War Museum. Bear on the Homefront written by Stephanie Innes and Harry Endrulat illustrated by Brian Deines Pajama Press, September 1, 2014 unpaginated Ages 4 to 8 Gillian O’Reilly is the editor of Canadian Children’s Book News. The National Reading Campaign publishes children’s book reviews under a Creative Commons License. This review is entirely free to reproduce and republish online and in print. Credit must be given to the reviewer and the National Reading Campaign. Reviews can be edited for brevity only. Contact Us for more information.