When the ice breaks, three polar bear friends drift away from their home into the big blue ocean. They desperately need to find a new home before their ice boat melts. At last they find land! Surely they are saved? No. They are turned away. The polar bears are rejected from three different islands by unwelcoming inhabitants. Will these stranded polar bears find a place to land, before it’s too late?
Welcome, is a beautiful and powerful story that considers human behaviour and its consequences. This seemingly simple tale, is, in fact, multifaceted. As well as providing an engaging story that young children love, it offers opportunities for discussion about the poignant topic of what it is to be without a home. It is a perfect starting point to discuss the affects of excluding others who are in need. In need of a friend. In need of a home. In need of something that we may see as our own. It enables the reader to consider how it feels to be the polar bears — the ones in great need of being welcomed.
My favourite part of this story has to be the heartwarming ending. Rather than becoming resentful about their experiences, these polar bears have learnt compassion.
Welcome is a truly powerful and engaging story, brought to life by Barroux’s, distinctive and beautiful art.