Me and Mister P.
by Farrer, Maria; Rieley, Daniel (ILT)

"An autistic younger brother, a frustrated older brother, and a friendly, fun polar bear who helps both of them!"-

Maria Farrer trained as a speech therapist and teacher and has worked in hospitals and schools. She later completed an MA in Writing for Young People. She has had several books published for young readers. She lives in Somerset, United Kingdom.

Daniel Rieley is a British freelance illustrator based in Lisbon. He is inspired by animals (the wild kind), French cinema, and surfing, among other things.

Arthur struggles to deal with his seemingly on-the-spectrum younger brother, Liam—until a friendly polar bear, Mister P., arrives to help.Liam melts down in difficult situations, leaving Arthur feeling self-conscious and embarrassed. His parents' somewhat heavy-handed and not especially sensitive management of Arthur's issues has left him bitter and sad. He's in the middle of running away from home when he encounters Mister P. Although some adults are initially nonplussed to find a giant bear in their midst, they adjust very easily. Mister P. has little trouble helping Arthur accept Liam's differences and get over his resentment, and as an added bonus, he also helps Liam cope better. As seen entirely from Arthur's point of view, Liam and his parents are only superficially sketched, providing little insight into their thoughts and actions. Rieley's numerous half- and full-page illustrations are a hilarious accompaniment to a tale that for the most part doesn't take itself too seriously, even though it borders on the didactic at times. Some of the text occasionally cascades artfully down the pages, providing another amusing element to this early chapter book. Arthur and his family are depicted as white, and his teacher and best friend are illustrated as black. Useful as bibliotherapy for siblings and classmates of children with autism, this effort also crosses over to readers who enjoy fantastical animal tales. (Fantasy. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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