Archie and the Bear (Zanni Louise, illus by David Mackintosh, Little Hare)
Archie and the Bear is the whimsical first collaboration between author Zanni Louise and illustrator David Mackintosh. It’s the story of a boy who is sure he’s a bear, and a bear who insists he’s a boy. Archie is sick and tired of no one listening when he tells them he is a bear. He packs some honey sandwiches and goes out into the woods, where he meets a bear in a boy suit. The pair recognise each other as kindred spirits, and work together on all sorts of bear and boy activities. It’s a sweet tale of friendship and being true to yourself. Louise (author of Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Book Too Busy Sleeping) has captured the humour and stubbornness of a child’s imagination in this story. Mackintosh makes great use of space with his unpredictable and charmingly distinctive illustrations, and their surreal quality suits the story perfectly. Archie and the Bear is suitable for children aged three and up. Fans of odd, humorous picture books such as Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back and Mo Willems’ work will enjoy this title.
Amy Nicholls-Diver is a primary literacy editor from Melbourne