The Very, Very Far North

TVVFN.Cover.Final (002) - Copy With illustrations by

Kelly Pousette

An inquisitive polar bear named Duane befriends an array of animals as he discovers where he belongs in this charming classic-in-the-making that’s reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh.

In the Very, Very Far North, past the Cold, Cold Ocean and just below the hill that looks like a baby whale, you’ll find Duane and his friends.

Duane is a sweet and curious young bear who makes friends with everyone he meets – whether they’re bossy, like Major Puff the puffin, or a bit vain, like Handsome the musk ox, or very, very shy, like Boo the caribou. For these arctic friends, every day is a new adventure!


Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster)



“Pousett’s soft pencil illustrations work in absolute harmony with the text, accomplishing the seemingly impossible task of making this book even more endearing. Gentle humor, a personable narrative voice, and some elevated vocabulary fortify the simple, character-driven adventures, which will win over young readers in a heartbeat.” Booklist July, 2019 Starred Review



TVVFN - Junior Library Guild


“I adored how the story was written, in both style and reading level. It was just enough that younger readers will be challenged, but not overwhelmed; while older readers won’t feel as if they are “reading down” by any means, and freely enjoy the tale before them.”

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, Sept. 8, 2019

“The Very, Very Far North is a calming, cozy kind of book that would make an excellent read-aloud whether in school, or curled up under a blanket on a cool afternoon, or as a bedtime story, since each chapter can be read on its own. Personally, I love a good bear story and this one is just top-notch as far as I’m concerned.

Randomly Reading, Sept. 4, 2019

The minute I started reading this book it became apparent that the writing style was quite unique. And enjoyable. … I could easily see this being a book teachers might read to their classrooms. It’s so much fun, there’s plenty of opportunities to open discussions … I loved the humor, illustrations, and the dialogue of each animal.”

Pick a Good Book, Sept. 2019

However, what is TRULY amazing about this story is the subtle lessons you learn while reading….keeping boundaries, listening to your instincts, and so much more….pretty sneaky and brilliant all at the same time! A beautiful story full of virtue, it’s timeless and will be a favorite bedtime read.

Insane About Books, Sept. 9, 2019

But what really won me over is the combination of how pure Duane’s journey is and the simple yet profound way his tale is told. It’s like Winnie the Pooh but for a new generation. Pretty sure it isn’t the first book of its kind out there, but there is something about the journey you make with characters that make you form a bond with them… and some of those bonds are for life. This novel is an anchor to remind you that things can be this simple, and that sometimes, days do get a change of heart and decide to take you want to go. This book is pure and I would definitely buy it for people with kids to help preserve whatever whimsy and wonder they have.

Alexa Loves Books (Macky Reads), Sept. 5, 2019