The utterly stunning front cover of the book The Ice Bear Miracle by Cerrie Burnell is designed by Sandra Dieckmann, and indicative of the magic and mystery that awaits readers as they embark on a breathtaking journey of discovery alongside the main characters. Set in a cold and desolate landscape this book is perfect for snuggling down under throws on your sofa or your duvet in bed, and indulging in a brilliant story where bravery is present throughout, and the characters determination is enviable.
Marv was injured by a Bear when he was a five years old and snuck out of the family home late one night determined to make use of his ice hockey gear he had received for his birthday. When he happens across a baby in a crib on the nearby ice rink and a Bear cub that looks as though it could hurt the infant to Marv he gets between the two and is consequently injured by the cub Bear’s parent. Pleading with the wider community to search for an abandoned baby whilst being nursed better Marv’s concerns are brushed aside as that of folk stories and myths, although his best friend and sister always reassure him that they believe he saw a baby that night and that he is telling the truth.
The memories of what he witnessed on the ice rink remain with Marv like the scars on his face, a permanent souvenir of his fifth birthday, and the poor decisions he made that night in leaving the house alone. When Marv hears of a circus act that involves a girl and a Bear he is instantly curious whether there is any correlation to what he saw that night, especially as he has frequently had dreamt of a girl with a bear companion since. When the chance comes to attend the circus event and see for himself Marv jumps at the chance, and this is when the reader is given the best seat in the house to determine what links the two characters, what really did happen the night of Marv’s fifth birthday, and what has been happening since.
Both of the lead characters in this book make brilliant role models for the intended reader as they show perseverance, determination, courage and caring. Their adventurous lifestyles ensure the reader is interested in the story from start to finish as they become immersed in a beautiful wintry story that has all the depth and content that confident chapter readers require, and with a magical feel to the landscape and its inhabitants this really is a book that will be cherished by this lucky generation of readers that are fortunate enough to find it amongst the shelves of their home or school libraries.
Cerrie has a previous middle grade title ( intended audience age 8-12 years) The Girl with Shark’s Teeth, which was released in 2019, and is another title I highly recommend – in fact I would have it on those “Books to Read before you finish primary school” lists that are everywhere – especially if your child/student enjoys adventures, an element of danger, myth based stories, and fiercely independent females. Cerrie has an incredible talent for bringing the world within her storybooks to life for the reader through the gorgeous sentences that conjure the most amazing images in their imaginations and enable them to follow the story easily, and children everywhere will be delighted to be introduced to her books.
The Ice Bear Miracle and The Girl with the Shark’s Teeth are published by Oxford University Press, and are available now priced at £6.99 each.