Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Bear in My Bedroom by Mary Small

A Bear in My Bedroom written by Mary Small was published in Australia in 1976. It is a chapter picture book with beautiful water colour illustrations by Australian artist Ingrid Van Dyk. The main character, Andrew, is a lacklustre six year old British boy, who has a very mundane life with two parents too busy working to notice him. One day his somewhat eccentric Aunt Philomena who has been living in Australia, comes to stay, and Andrew's life suddenly becomes much more exciting and meaningful. Sadly the day comes when she must return to Australia leaving a very forlorn Andrew behind. Then, one day a package containing a koala bear arrives on his doorstep which Andrew immediately discards in disgust believing himself too old for such toys. However, this is no ordinary koala, it comes to life during the night times and Andrew soon finds himself involved in all sorts of adventures in Australia after realising they can move to and from the two countries through a secret tunnel. Andrew meets kangaroos, a cheeky kookaburra, sheep, goannas, fairy penguins and even a bunyip!  There are ten chapters in all and it is a sizeable read for a "picture book."  This is a beautiful hardback edition and for any child who enjoyed Enid Blyton books or the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, they will surely enjoys this book too.

Author, Mary Small was born and educated in England and settled in Australia in 1962. She worked as a speech therapist until she married and after travelling widely with her marine scientist husband she took up writing stories for children.

Ingrid Van Dyk was born in Sydney and studies art at the National Art School. After receiving her Diploma of Sculpture she decided to study for her Diploma of Education. However, instead of teaching she took up book illustrating.

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