Today I would like to welcome you all to my stop on the Blog Tour for Wojtek: War Hero Bear By Jenny Robertson and I would like to share a review with all of you. Please do show some love to all the wonderful book bloggers on this blog tour by following and sharing their work. 🙂
Thank You very much to the publisher – Birlinn for the review copy.
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Release date: 01 05 2014
Price*: Kindle £2.84 (GBP)/ Paperback £3.73 (GBP)
Kindle $3.81 (USD)/ Paperback $11.20 (USD)
Pages: ~ 151
My rating: 7/10
You can get this book here:
What I learned from this book: I learned some interesting historical facts, which I didn’t know before.
Description of the book: When a tiny orphaned bear cub is adopted by Polish soldiers during World War II, little does anyone know that little Wojtek will become one of the bravest fighters of them all. As the soldiers train to take part in some of the fiercest fightings of the war, Wojtek grows up, providing headaches and laughter in equal measure as he learns to drink beer, chase horses and wrestle with his human friends. But at Monte Cassino, as the Allies try and dislodge German troops from their mountain-top eyrie, Wojtek, now a fully signed-up soldier with his own rank and number, comes into his own, dodging the bullets to carry ammunition to his comrades as they inch their way to victory. After the war, the Polish soldiers move to Scotland. Wojtek comes too and soon becomes the center of attention in a new country. But with hostilities ended, how long can he keep his freedom? Best-selling children’s author Jenny Robertson explores the themes of friendship and trust in this moving and inspirational story.
How this book made me feel: Well, I think this book is classified as a children’s read, but I noticed, that you should have pretty good knowledge in history, in order to understand what is going on in here. I picked up this book after reading a Holocaust memoir, so it was a very nice continuation to my reading theme. 😀
When Piotr, a polish soldier, discovers an abandoned bear cub, he decides to take him along on his journey to Palestine. But he discovers, that after losing his family to the Soviet regimen, Piotr feels very lonely, and Wojtek’s presence comforts not only him but other soldiers as well. I really liked the characters in this book, I found them charming, warm and pleasant personalities. I really enjoyed that author used multiple perspectives in this novel, I really loved reading Wojtek’s parts, I found them cute and funny. I loved the parts, were author shared Piotr’s story with the readers. It is a very sad story involving concentration camps and betrayal, but these parts made the whole book more complex and more interesting for me. (as an adult with some knowledge of history…)
The narrative follows the army squad accompanied by Wojtek, through their journeys in the middle east, and is very fun to read. I have to agree, Wojtek is a very funny and smart bear, and I loved all his mishaps. The author has done a great research for this novel, however, sometimes it felt like reading a history book, filled with war terminology and facts. Another aspect I really enjoyed was the pictures, Tim Archbold did a great job on them. I am glad that every chapter had a picture, and I was curious to find out, which scene from that chapter he decided to illustrate. 🙂
The writing style of this book was pretty straightforward, and it was quite easy and enjoyable for me. The chapters were a decent length and the pictures helped to make it more entertaining and playful. I did enjoy the setting of this book, it changes continuously, bringing in different scenery and atmosphere. I think that the ending was very realistic and believable for this novel, but some aspects left me a little bit upset with Piotr. So, to conclude, It is a great read for children as well as adults, especially if your child is learning about WWII, I think it would widen up their knowledge and you would have great fun reading it as well. Win-win situation. 😀 This novel has amusing characters as well as lots of serious and fun moments, and I do recommend to give this book a try. Enjoy 🙂
About the Author: Jenny Robertson has written numerous books for children and adults – fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Her children’s novels and Bible stories have been widely translated and also read on Yorkshire Television and STV. Tim Archbold wrote and illustrated his first children’s book. In 1988 and since then has worked on books for a huge number of publishers, including Bloomsbury, HarperCollins, Macmillan, and OUP. His illustrations have also featured in magazines such as Radio Times, Good Housekeeping, BBC Gardener’s World, Good Food and Country Living.
Twitter – @Jenny_Writes
*-the price was taken from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com at the current date. The price might change at your time of purchase. The links used in this post for book purchases are affiliates.