Books > The Bear who Sailed the Ocean on an Iceberg

The Bear who Sailed the Ocean on an Iceberg

Emily Critchley, illustrated by Holly Ovenden


28 October 2021









From a Carnegie nominated author, a brilliantly funny and touching story about a lonely boy who finds a polar bear in his parents’ freezer. How did Monty get there? And who is Monty? Official name, Wilbur Ambrose Cedric Reginald Montague, the Third; Monty to his friends. A huge polar bear who talks like he might have swallowed a dictionary as well as a library — he has read more books than Patrick knew existed —and whose stomach is always rumbling. ALWAYS. But how is Patrick going to feed him on his pocket money that does not stretch much further than a few tins of sardines? And how to protect him from neighbours like Mr. Crankly who might report him? And if that isn’t enough, Patrick is really taking care of his mum who suffers from depression, and his dad isn’t there. But there is always Monty.

Warm, witty and moving, with memorable characters and a clever plot

– School Reading List

An enchanting story of a boy who finds a hungry loquacious polar bear in his parents’ freezer

– The Oldie

A touching and heartwarming story. It’s witty and charming – most notably because of the wonderful Monty. I loved his philosophical musings on life!

– Get Kids into Books

★★★★★ A poignant and upbeat story, warm enough to melt even the iciest of hearts! … Emily Critchley’s story is one of hope, of finding allies in the most unexpected of places and of moving from the darkness to the light. It was unpredictable, entertaining and easy to read.

– Reading Zone

Poignant, funny and radiant with friendship, Emily Critchley’s The Bear who Sailed the Ocean on an Iceberg is a warm-hearted, witty delight from start to finish, with big themes (bereavement, bullying and divorce) tackled with tremendous compassion and a magical touch.

– Lovereading4kids

Utterly compelling

– Bookcraig

Written with wit, insight, and an offbeat humour, the story of Patrick and the polar bear who is living in the garage, is also a portrait of a family in crisis. Monty, the Oscar-Wilde quoting, goldfish-eating giant polar bear, is a superb comic creation, but it is how Critchley deals with Patrick’s and his parents’ difficulties that really moved me; The Bear who Sailed the Ocean on an Iceberg is a tender, funny novel with a light touch and a generous heart.  

– Richard Lambert

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Emily Critchley

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