Marco Moves In (A Rather Remarkable Grizzly Bear) by Gerry Boland

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Marco Moves In (A Rather Remarkable Grizzly Bear) by Gerry Boland

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Mary Esther Judy
Reviewed by Mary Esther Judy
Summary: A fun, delightful and gently subversive tale of friendship and finding a place where you belong. Extraordinary things do happen when a grizzly bear turns up on your doorstep... but then, don't they happen everyday? Perfect book for new readers and for sharing with the whole family.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 64 Date: September 2011
Publisher: O'Brien Press
ISBN: 9781847172297

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It's not every day that a grizzly bear turns up on your doorstep. Yet, this is exactly what happens one night at Patrick'shouse. The grizzly bear, Marco, has escaped from the local zoo and is looking for somewhere to live. The entire town is on the lookout and a grizzly can be rather hard to hide. After a host of close calls, Patrick and Marco find the perfect place.

More than just a quirky story about finding a grizzly bear, this is a tale about friendship, family life, loneliness and finding a place where you belong. The relationship between Patrick and his mother, who 'lives in a world of her own' is described perfectly with few actual details given. We glean through the story that Patrick's father has left, leaving he and his mother to 'just get on with things' without a wordy or overly-emotional explanation. The reader finds that Marco and Patrick strike up an unusual, yet deep friendship. The grizzly bear alone has the unique ability to commiserate with Patrick, as the bear's situation echoes the underlying loneliness and sadness. The accessory characters, Mrs Sharp, Mr Blunt and the policemen who turn up searching for the bear offer a picture of the adult worldview and lack of attention to Patrick's life, as they all fail to notice what is right under the noses and make glaring assumptions that may or may not pertain to Patrick'slife, and Marco's situation as well.

There are hints of 'Paddington Bear' about this story, which is no harm at all. It allows for a frame of reference (in the children's literature canon). The expressive story is told with much humour and delight. The illustrations have a contemporary, yet slightly retro animated feel to them. The book is presented like an old-fashioned Ladybird book, which gives it great accessibility and charm. The black and white ink wash pictures suit the atmosphere and tone of the book beautifully. It feels like a rainy evening, both cosy and a bit gloomy, then as the weather breaks and a solution is discovered, a warm glow evolves.

Marco Moves In is an unassuming, wonderful, warm read for beginning readers or to share that says a lot in a few pages. I am thoroughly looking forward to the next instalment, Marco: Master of Disguise coming in March 2012. Also, for readers in Ireland, particularly, Marco Moves In is being reprinted as one of the World Book Day books.

While you're waiting for the second installment of Marco and Patrick's adventures, can I recommend the following books to share and love: The Lonely Beast by Chris Judge, The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers and, of course, Paddington by Michael Bond.

Buy Marco Moves In (A Rather Remarkable Grizzly Bear) by Gerry Boland at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Marco Moves In (A Rather Remarkable Grizzly Bear) by Gerry Boland at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Marco Moves In (A Rather Remarkable Grizzly Bear) by Gerry Boland at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Marco Moves In (A Rather Remarkable Grizzly Bear) by Gerry Boland at Amazon.com.


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