Me and Mister P is a charming book for younger readers 7+, from Marier Farrer.
Arthur finds life unfair and difficult at times dealing with his little brother Liam but one day a huge polar bear with a suitcase turns up on the doorstep. Although it’s never expressly stated, Liam is plainly on the autistic spectrum and has some challenging behaviour. We can quickly see that Mister P is helping both Liam and Arthur, but this important side of the story is handled really well and never laboured.
Like Paddington before him, Mister P is a bear who brings out the best in others. He‘s a terrific listener and obviously very good at hugs, but also has a naughty side where ice-cream is concerned, which was good to see. Mister P doesn’t speak so the author has done well to make him such a communicative, loveable character. I happily went with the flow as Mister P integrates into normal life attending school and taking buses. There turned out to be more football than I was expecting as the book went on but it was all engagingly written.
Daniel Rieley’s illustrations are fabulous making the book fun throughout. I was glad to see both author and illustrator named on the spine and cover. I hope this is the start of a successful series.