"Blanket & Bear, a Remarkable Pair" by L. J. R. Kelly is a picture book about growing up. The main characters are two beloved belongings: a blanket and a teddy bear. Most children can relate to having one or the other as a favorite childhood "friend."
They belong to "a boy" who is never named. He loves them, though, and takes them everywhere. Until one day on a ship, he is playing "pirates" and leaves them for a minute on a bench. By the time he remembers them, they are gone.
The story follows their fanciful journey in search of the boy. They float together over the ocean until they arrive on an island where all lost blankets and bears go. It's the "retirement" island for the toys. The King invites them to stay. He says, "The boy will replace you -- he won't be alone."
But the loyal blanket and bear keep searching and searching through forests and streams until finally they find the boy. "At long last they found him -- so grown-up! so tall! -- racing straight past them to dive for a ball."
And they see that their time is past and they are free to play and have fun on the island for retired bears and blankets.
This is a story that will comfort a child who has lost a cherished blanket or toy. It's also about friendship and the fleeting nature of childhood. It will also help to show that other children also have cherished possessions. And that it's okay to love a bear or a blanket.
The author is the grandson of Roald Dahl and serves as vice-chairman of Roald Dahl's literary estate.
Please note: This review is based on the final hardcover book provided by the publisher, Viking, for review purposes.
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