Dear Library Patrons, The mission of NYPL is to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities. Government support only pays for a portion of our work, so we rely on you to help - from stocking our shelves with amazing books, expanding our e-Book selection, classes, events, or even making free WiFi accessible to all. We are trying to raise $500,000 by December 31: an ambitious goal, but one that will fund incredible learning and reading in our community. Please consider donating to help keep our services free to all New Yorkers in 2015 >>


A Boy and A Bear in A Boat

Shelton, Dave

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
A Boy and A Bear in A Boat
A boy and a bear go to sea, equipped with a suitcase, a comic book and a ukulele, for a short trip but soon their boat encounters "unforeseeable anomalies," strange storms, a terrifying sea monster, and the rank remains of The Very Last Sandwich.
Publisher: New York : David Fickling Books, 2012
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780385752480
Branch Call Number: J FIC S
Characteristics: 293 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.


From Library Staff

A bear rows a boy on an unorthodox nautical journey. Expect hungry sea monsters and a lurking Last Sandwich.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Sep 08, 2014
  • InqMin95 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Thoroughly enjoyed the journey this took me on. Quirky, honest (as to feelings) and unpredictable. A delight to read, even as an adult.

May 12, 2014
  • JCLBarbaraL rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This was not an action packed story, but a beautiful one. I think the sentiment is summed up well as the boy is contemplating the moon, "Look at the moon?...Why? It's not going to do anything is it? I mean the moon is just the moon.". But as he said it he looked up at the moon himself and, as there was nothing better to do, he kept looking at it for quite a while. He'd been right, it didn't do anything, but it didn't have to, it was just beautiful. It just was. The boy gazed at the moon....and felt, for a moment, calm and safe and sure."

Apr 30, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"It seemed to be just one episode of a longer story so it didn't have a proper beginning or ending, it was all just part of the middle. There was no way of knowing what had gone on before or what would happen after. And, actually, the boy didn't have much of a clue about what was going on now."

Is it possible to write a simple, abstract fable largely about a character being bored that is not itself boring? That's the question I kept asking myself as I read this book. For a large part of the story nothing much happens, just the boy sitting in the boat with nothing to do while the bear contentedly rows, sleeps, eats, and has tea. There was no explanation for this situation and no conclusion, it just is. Yet something kept me captivated and reading. And that's not the entire story--there is a plot and eventful things do happen--but it's largely a story of isolation and inactivity. Part Zen, part Existentialism, and part Joe Versus the Volcano. It's not the kind of story you can really think about or analyze, it's one you feel; I don't know what I liked about it or why, but I did. And that's enough.

A book stuffed full of morals and lessons and pictures. It was quite a bit like Avi's The End of the Beginning. I preferred that to this.

Sep 10, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

It's brilliant and flawed and pretty much the most interesting chapter book fare for children you'll read this year, even when it strikes you as dull. One thing's for certain. There is nothing else quite like it on your library or bookstores shelves.


Add a Quote

Jun 17, 2013
  • maroon_cat_86 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"will this take long"
"a little while"
(not true is it)

Apr 30, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

There's nothing wrong with nearly getting killed. Actually getting killed: now that would be annoying. But nearly getting killed is fine. I do it all the time and it's never done me any harm.

Sep 10, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"It was very hard and dry and tasted almost of nothing at all, only not as nice."


Add Age Suitability

Sep 10, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over


Add a Summary

Sep 10, 2012
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"Will it take long?" "A little while." A boy steps into a boat captained by a rather large bear. His destination? The other side. At first all appears to be going well. The sea is calm and the sky clear. The boy even takes a nap, only to wake up to find that he has not reached his destination after all. After a couple days pass it seems fairly clear that the bear has gotten the two of them hopelessly lost. Their survival on the high seas takes the form of many small adventures, from teatime to sea monsters, and everything in-between. In the end, the boy and the bear reach a kind of peace and a desire to keep going, no matter what.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.

Find it at NYPL


Other Formats

Buy It Now

Support your library, keep it forever!

View Purchase Options Learn more about this program

Your Cart

Hello! We noticed you have the following items in your cart right now:

If you'd still like to purchase the items you have in your cart, you can do that now.

You'll be able to purchase your eBook after you have checked out your current cart.

A Boy and A Bear in A Boat
Shelton, Dave
A Boy and A Bear in A Boat

To continue with your eBook purchase immediately, you can clear your cart by clicking below.

All items will be removed from your cart.

I'd like to keep browsing! I'll decide later.

Explore Further

Browse the Shelf

Subject Headings



Powered by BiblioCommons.
app03 Version gurli Last updated 2014/12/09 10:52