On Our Shelves Now
An inquisitive polar bear named Duane befriends an array of animals as he discovers where he belongs in this charming classic-in-the making that’s reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh.
In the Very, Very Far North, past the Cold, Cold Ocean and just below the hill that looks like a baby whale, you’ll find Duane and his friends.
Duane is a sweet and curious young bear who makes friends with everyone he meets—whether they’re bossy, like Major Puff the puffin, or a bit vain, like Handsome the musk ox, or very, very shy, like Boo the caribou. For these arctic friends, every day is a new adventure!
About the Author
Dan Bar-el is an award-winning children’s author, educator, and storyteller whose books include Audrey (cow), Not Your Typical Dragon, and The Very, Very Far North. Dan has worked with children ages three to thirteen as a school-age childcare provider, a preschool teacher, a creative drama teacher, and a creative writing teacher. He also teaches with the Creative Writing for Children Society. Dan lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with artist and goldsmith Dominique Bréchault, and Sasha, the most adorable cat in the known universe. Visit him at DanBarel.com.
Kelly Pousette is an illustrator and storyteller, originally from the west coast of British Columbia. She loves to create things, especially pictures. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post Paris, The Brown Paper Bag blog, and Brightness Magazine. She currently resides in northern British Columbia with her husband and very large dog Clovis. The Very, Very Far North is her first book.
* “Wonderfully follows in the tradition of A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories. . . . Pousette’s soft pencil illustrations work in absolute harmony with the text, accomplishing the seemingly impossible task of making this book even more endearing. Gentle humor, a personable narrative voice, and some elevated vocabulary fortify the simple, character-driven adventures, which will win over young readers in a heartbeat.”
— Booklist, starred review
"Quirky and imaginative—postmodern storytelling at its best."
— Kirkus Reviews
“Duane is kin to Winnie the Pooh, with an affable nature and an endearing cluelessness that leads to moments of sage wisdom. The fourteen episodic chapters following the adventures of Duane and his buddies focus on friendship with a special emphasis on accepting and respecting differences among pals. . . . Direct addresses from the narrator invite youngsters in with gentle humor, and Pousette’s illustrations, black and white spot art appearing with pleasant frequency, give the animal characters an appealing toylike sensibility. This would make a fine companion to Milne’s classic or Lobel’s Frog and Toad, like those serving as a satisfying readaloud as well as a readalone; kiddos whose tastes tend toward the cozy will find warmth and comfort in Duane’s frosty world.”
"A tender early chapter book that will appeal to young readers.”
— School Library Connection
“Each character is well developed and the kindness with which these friends treat each other is instructive without being didactic. . . . The rich language and wordplay make for an excellent read-aloud. Recommended, especially as a read-aloud, for fans of classics like A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, or for those seeking a solid demonstration of positive social interaction.”
— School Library Journal