Twelve-year-old Patrick is sent to put the Christmas decorations away in the garage (his mum is frightened of spiders) where he comes across a huge polar bear in the chest freezer. How did Monty get there? And who is Monty? Official name, Wilbur Ambrose Cedric Reginald Montague, the Third; Monty to his friends. A 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?
Publisher: Everything with Words
Exactly what a polar bear was doing in the freezer in the garage hadn't even occurred to Patrick. He was too bust shouting at himself in his head:
Only he couldn't. His leg muscles felt tight and his arms were pressed into his sides. Something seemed to be gluing him to the spot. It was as if his feet had grown roots like the roots of the cress seeds he'd grown on cotton wool on the classroom windowsill in Year One.
The polar bear lifted one of his large front paws. 'Terribly sorry,' he said. 'I don't believe we've met.'
Richard Lambert, Wolf Road
Monty, the Oscar Wilde quoting, gold-fish 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.
Books for Keeps
Critchley's book is both funny and touching.
School Reading List
Warm and moving with memorable characters and a clever plot.