A story about belonging.
Paws, a curious little baby bear who questioned everything, was taught all about the big wide world by his very famous father, Roman, who was a dancing bear. Roman also taught Paws that it was sometimes just best to be happy with your own corner of the world.
Paws dreamed about his corner of the world but he didn’t really know where it was, so he set out in search of it, putting himself in grave danger along the way only to be rescued by his father. This little bear discovered that his own corner of the world was with his dad who loved him very much. (TheNile – Aus)
48 pages, 230mm x 235mm, ages 4 – 10yrs, available in soft and hardcover
My initial impression of Paws by Kathy Finikakos was that it was a charming story for those at an age where they are becoming aware of a world bigger than themselves and trying to understand how they fit into it.
On a second reading I noticed that the main character, young Paws called his father by his name ‘Roman’, rather than ‘Father’ which struck me as a little odd, and something that could potentially confuse young readers.
Paws is a soft-cover picture book so as you would expect the illustrations by Heath McKenzie were the stars more than the text. The double page illustrations were eye catching but realistically toned, rather than garish as is sometimes the case in books targeted at children.
Since I am honorary aunty to children rather than a parent, I sought the opinion of a friend with a son in the target audience for Paws.
Here are his thoughts:
Overall I found the story entertaining enough for my son who enjoyed the illustrations and the differing locations that Paws found himself in.
Looking past the questionable use of bears in circuses and after having to explain to my son that Paws called his Daddy by his first name “Roman” rather than “Daddy”, “Dad”, “Pa”, or some other derivative, I felt this story drove home the message of finding your place in the world, even if that place is safely with your family. I didn’t feel that the story flowed particularly well but the end result was a feeling of togetherness, something parents could hopefully relate to with their child.
* My receiving a copy of this book free for review purposes did not influence the opinions expressed in my review.Updated