Today I am thrilled to be part of the Blog Tour for Wojtek War Hero Bear by Jenny Robertson. Thank you to LoveBooksGroup for inviting me to take part in the tour and to the author and publisher for providing me with a copy of the book.
When a tiny orphaned bear cub is adopted by Polish soldiers during World War II, little does anyone know that little Wojtek will become one of the bravest fighters of them all. As the soldiers train to take part in some of the fiercest fighting of the war, Wojtek grows up, providing headaches and laughter in equal measure as he learns to drink beer, chase horses and wrestle with his human friends. But at Monte Cassino, as the Allies try and dislodge German troops from their mountain-top eyrie, Wojtek, now a fully signed-up soldier with his own rank and number, comes into his own, dodging the bullets to carry ammunition to his comrades as they inch their way to victory. After the war, the Polish soldiers move to Scotland. Wojtek comes too and soon becomes the centre of attention in a new country. But with hostilities ended, how long can he keep his freedom? Best-selling children’s author Jenny Robertson explores the themes of friendship and trust in this moving and inspirational story.
Although Wojtek, War Hero Bear is primarily a children’s book I would recommend all animal lovers read this heartwarming yet at times moving story.
Piotr, a Polish soldier meets the orphaned bear cub whilst serving in World War II. A beautiful relationship unfolds between the bear (they named Wojtek) and the Polish soldiers. Wojtek becomes a fully signed up soldier with his own rank and number and plays his own special part in the war effort.
This is my favourite quote from the book, I think it encompasses the story perfectly.
Glad of some peace Piotr crouched beside the little bear.
“You’re too young to survive in the wild but you don’t belong behind bars in a zoo”. he said in a low voice.
“When we’ve won this war I’ll take you back home with me. I’ll find my family and we’ll rebuild our lives together”
And for the first time in many months, he began to believe that might be possible.
Wojtek made the soldiers laugh, he let them pour out all the affection that would normally go to their families and gave it back in return. He worked hard and kept his fellow soldiers safe. As well as life lessons in friendship, kindness, and trust, children will learn a little of the hardships of World War II and some of the history surrounding it.
I loved the illustrations created by Tim Archbold. I imagined the drawings of Wojteks adventures being drawn by the soldiers with a pencil and notebook they carried with them in their backpacks. I’m sure the illustrations will appeal to children and help to draw them into the story because they really do capture the bear’s character.
Wojtek will win your hearts, I admit I did shed a tear or two, but this is a book I will remember and recommend for many years to come.
Thank you for providing me with a copy of Wojtek which I have reviewed honestly.
Jenny Robertson has written numerous books for children and adults – fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Her children’s novels and Bible stories have been widely translated and also read on Yorkshire Television and STV.