Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 8 to 12
- Grade: 3 to 7
- Reading age: 8 to 12
“Wonderfully follows in the tradition of A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories...Endearing...Will win over young readers in a heartbeat.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Quirky and imaginative—postmodern storytelling at its best.” —Kirkus Reviews
An inquisitive polar bear named Duane befriends an array of animals as he discovers where he belongs in this charming classic-in-the making.
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 authors
Dan Bar-el est un auteur à succès, un pédagogue et un conteur qui a publié des romans, des albums illustrés et des bandes dessinées. Depuis vingt et un ans, il travaille avec des enfants de trois à treize ans en tant que prestataire de services de garde et donne des cours de théâtre et d'écriture. Dan habite à Vancouver.
Dan Bar-el believes that the highest compliment a preschool child can pay is to call one silly. He carries the label with honor. "Preschool children have no patience for 'jokes,'" he says. "Ask one to tell you a knock-knock joke and, painfully, you'll see my point. But nothing gets a giggle like the absurd. Nothing is funnier than turning the rules on their heads." And that is exactly what Dan has done in his new book, in which each of twenty-six children is named for a child he has taught. The author of Things are Looking Up, Jack and Things are Looking Grimm, fill, Dan lives, writes and teac
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.
“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
* “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
“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
"Quirky and imaginative—postmodern storytelling at its best."