Books and reading

Sweet and colourful: ‘The Polar Bear in Sydney Harbour’ by Beck & Robin Feiner

Kids (of all ages) enjoy incongruities and humour and this is definitely a feature of the new picture book by Sydney-based husband and wife team Beck and Robin Feiner.

‘When Hannah spots a polar bear in Sydney Harbour, she knows something isn’t right…But even worse, none of the adults seem to notice him at all.
Can Hannah help her new friend find his way back home?

The polar bear in Sydney harbour

There is the obvious humour in the text – a polar bear in Sydney? – but the clever illustrations by Beck Feiner add another layer, as only Hannah can see the polar bear as they visit well known and beloved Sydney locations. Her parents don’t even notice the bear riding on the roof of their car!

Kids will love pointing out the absurdities in this gentle book that, below it’s humour, is a child-friendly invitation to consider some of the possible effects of climate change on the animals most affected.

The illustrations are stylised with gorgeous blocks of colour, portraying places like Bondi Beach, the Opera House and Sydney ferries, all very familiar to many Australian children.

The brief friendship that develops between Hannah and the bear is heart warming and Hannah is a clever girl to work out a solution to the polar bear’s dilemma.

The Polar Bear in Sydney Harbour is a welcome addition to picture books that introduce children to environmental themes, with humour and a child’s eye view throughout.

The Polar Bear in Sydney Harbour is published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in September 2020.

My thanks to the publishers for a copy to read and review.

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