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Archive for the ‘Bear on the Homefront’ Category

SLJ reviews “heartwarming” Bear on the Homefront

Posted on October 1st, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnHomefront_cover_rgb_hi-res“In this companion piece to Bear in War (2012), Teddy the stuffed bear provides comfort to two young children who have been evacuated from England to Canada during World War II. In the first book, Teddy is the real-life connection between Aileen Rogers and her father who was fighting on the front lines in World War I. When her father was killed, Teddy was returned to Aileen who kept it as a memento of her late father. Teddy turns up again in this story when Aileen is grown and working as a nurse with English evacuees in Canada. Sensing the uncertainty and loneliness in the two children she is escorting to their temporary home, Aileen gives Teddy to Grace and William for their time away from England. This story offers children a glimpse into what life had to have been like during that time period when youngsters were forced to leave their families so that they might survive the war. The host family has a working farm that the children help with over the five years of the war. When it is time to go back home, the children decide that Teddy needs to return to Aileen as well. The story is touching without any hint of sentimentality. The soft, warm palette of the art is beautifully rendered in oils and adds the perfect touch to this heartwarming story.”

—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

49th Shelf‘s Most Anticipated Fall 2014 Kids’ Books

Posted on August 27th, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnHomefront_cover_rgb_hi-resBear on the Homefront (September), by Stephanie Innes, Harry Endurulat, and Brian Deines, follows up their acclaimed book, A Bear in War, to tell the story of Canada’s “wartime guests,” the British children who were evacuated to Canada during World War Two.

ABrushFullOfColour_HR_RGBIconic Canadian painter Ted Harrison’s own life story is told in A Brush Full of Colour (October), by Margriet Ruurs and Katherine Gibson, which is filled with full-colour examples of his work.

PrincessPistachio_HR_RGBA young girl facing life’s usual aggravations must also contend with the fact that her real parents are actually the king and queen of Papua New Guinea in Princess Pistachio (October), by Marie-Louise Gay.

DanceOfTheBanished_HR_RGBIn Dance of the Banished (August), by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, an Anatolian refugee is thrown into a Canadian internment camp when World War One breaks out, leaving his fiancée in peril in their homeland.”

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Publishers Weekly reviews Bear on the Homefront

Posted on August 19th, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnHomefront_cover_rgb_hi-res“…Rendered in a muted palette, Deines’s lush oil paintings showcase the Canadian landscape as the children make their way by train to Winnipeg to live on a family’s farm until the war ends. Once again, Teddy narrates the story, and his separation from Aileen tenderly mirrors the children’s distance from their parents…”

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Kirkus Reviews Praises Bear on the Homefront

Posted on August 12th, 2014 by pajamapress

A brother and sister evacuated from England during World War II gather strength from a tiny teddy bear.

BearOnHomefront_cover_rgb_hi-resGrace and William are sent from their home to live with a host family in Canada until the war is over. On arrival, the pair meets Aileen, a nurse who travels with all of the children to make sure they get to their Canadian families safely. Grace and William are scared and homesick, but a small, peanut-shaped bear from Aileen’s pocket helps to comfort them. Teddy narrates the story, which is a bit jarring at first, but Teddy’s gentle tone ends up bringing readers just as much comfort as it does Grace and William. Teddy is the hero from the creative team’s previous real-life war story, A Bear in War (2009), in which a young Aileen Rogers sends the bear to her father stationed in Belgium during World War I. The story is inspired by Rogers’ diary, kept 25 years later while working as a nurse. Teddy might not have had this exact adventure, but the tale truly shows the reassuring presence of just the right toy. Deines’ warm oil paintings, suffused with light, are as tender as Teddy’s tiny embrace.

Child readers, in wartime or not, will give their teddies an extra, grateful squeeze. (afterword) (Picture book. 5-10)

CanLit for LittleCanadians reviews Bear on the Homefront

Posted on July 17th, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnTheHomefront_Internet“…Inspired by events recounted in Aileen Rogers’ diary, Bear on the Homefront takes Teddy out of the war zone but still working to comfort those impacted by war. And by giving Teddy a voice, Stephanie Innes (the great niece of Aileen Rogers) and Harry Endrulat have endeared the little bear with even more heart than his simple form may suggest.  His longing for Aileen and his honest reflections are not dissimilar to the children’s own, though they all recognize the value in perseverance, even if it is difficult.

The text and atmospheric oil on canvas illustrations of Brian Deines lend an authenticity to the memories held within Bear on the Homefront.  Teddy has an important story to tell…For his heroic efforts in comforting and giving voice to others when their own words and thoughts probably failed them, Teddy is now safe and treasured at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.  So, Bear at the Homefront gives us one more happy ending from a time when there weren’t many.”

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National Reading Campaign reviews Bear on the Homefront

Posted on June 25th, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnTheHomefront_Internet“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.”

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Bear on the Homefront “an elegant book”—CM Magazine

Posted on June 20th, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnTheHomefront_Internet“One of the best Canadian picture books of 2012 was A Bear in War. The team of Stephanie Innes, Harry Endrulat, and Brian Deines have collaborated again to bring readers another adventure of the teddy bear that now resides in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa..Those who enjoyed the first book will find the quality of the sequel equally impressive and the story equally engaging…

Brian Deines is one of Canada’s foremost illustrators. His heavily textured oil on canvas paintings are a visual treat…Bear on the Homefront is an elegant book that parents and educators will enjoy sharing with young children. Highly Recommended.”

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