Membear of Parliament, Richard Heller

When a young teddy bear discovers that his parents have no pension, that his girlfriend is overworked in hospital and that children cannot play cricket in Dudbury (Britain’s most boring town) he decides to become a Membear Of Parliament. This book will entertain children of 7 upwards and tell them what Parliament and politics can do for them.

Publisher: Bearmondsey Publishing

Reviewer: Briony Stebbings

Membear of Parliament is about a young teddy called Harry, having recently finished Acatedemy School he starts to realise that things around his home town of Dudbury, Britain’s most boring town, could be a whole lot better. With the help of his friends and family he decides to run for Parliament.

Harry’s journey to becoming a Membear of Parliament has its ups and downs as he learns the ropes but he has plenty of support, his friend The Wise Old Clown is his Chief Organizer, the toy soldiers as his campaigners, the Dolly Sisters help him with a little song. He is a very lucky bear to have so much support but he believes in better things and is prepared to work hard for them.

He wants Dudbury to have a Cricket Team and to help retired bears like his parents get a pension. These may be idealistic dreams but the way they have been woven into the story, from him noticing the problem to him working to fix it, have been done in such a way that is believable, entertaining and really does help younger children understand the greater going ons in the world.

There is even the odd joke for the adults reading this with their kids, I always like that, Harry Bear is obviously the 1st ever bear to run for Parliament and he queries this with The Wise Old Clown who mentions to him that although there aren’t any bears ‘there are some clowns’ and informs him that there are many children in Parliament, they just ‘have to be over 18’. This did make me chuckle.

The chapters are the perfect length for a bedtime story and it was a pleasure to read. I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.

This book is not only utterly charming it is also educational and funny. I have learnt a lot about what a bear has to learn before he can be a child’s toy and my little one, well he’s too little at the moment, but this book will spark some interesting conversations about politics and fairness when he gets bigger.

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