Marco Moves In

“It’s not every day that a grizzly bear turns up on your doorstep.”

A grizzly bear, Marco, has escaped from the local zoo and is looking for somewhere to live. The entire town is on the lookout and a grizzly can be a difficult thing to hide. After a host of close calls, Patrick and Marco find the perfect place.

This is a well-written book with great humour and an easy to read story. More than just a quirky tale about finding a grizzly bear, Marco Moves In covers friendship, family life, loneliness and finding a place to belong. The relationship between Patrick and his mother, who ‘lives in a world of her own’, is described perfectly with few actual details given. The accessory characters, Mrs Sharp, Mr Blunt and the policemen who turn up searching for the bear offer a picture of the adult worldview and lack of attention to Patricks’ life, as they all fail to notice what is right under the noses.

There are hints of Paddington Bear about this story and the reader finds that Marco and Patrick strike up an unusual, yet deep friendship. The grizzly bear alone has the unique ability to commiserate with Patrick, as the bear’s situation echoes the underlying loneliness and sadness. The illustrations have a contemporary, yet slightly retro animated feel to them. The black and white ink wash pictures suit the atmosphere and tone of the book beautifully. It feels like a rainy evening, both cosy and a bit gloomy, then as the weather breaks and a solution is discovered, a warm glow evolves. A great book that says a lot in a few pages.