By: Robert Repino
Published on: March 24, 2020
When monsters come calling at night who is there to protect you? Why, your teddy bear of course! After all, all teddy bears are sworn to protect their house and those in it.
In Spark and the League of Ursus, Spark is a teddy bear loved by a girl named Loretta. Her brother, one year old, also has a teddy bear – Sir Reginald. Even though Spark knows about monsters, she has never seen one. So it quite a surprise when a monster appears in Loretta’s room threatening to take her. Spark acts fast to keep him away, but it leaves more questions than answers. What has happened to Sir Reginald? Why couldn’t she banish the monster outright? Does this have anything to do with a classmate that has gone missing? What do they do if it decides to return?
Within the course of the story, we get to know the Spark and Sir Reginald, her mentor, and the bears/protectors of Loretta and Matthew’s friends. What is interesting is how each of the protectors seem to take on quality and personality traits of their kids. But only one of them has ever seen a monster before so they all have to overcome obstacles one might face if you are confronted with something scary that you’ve never had to deal with before and learn how to work together before it’s too late.
In general, I think the concept is really cute. A lot of young kids love their stuffed animals and many have probably played make believe stories where their teddy bears have saved the day. On the other hand, because of the subject I can also see this being one that not every kid will gravitate toward, but that can be said for most books. Even though it is a cute concept for kids, I must admit I struggled with it as an adult reader since my head kept asking questions about how it all worked and why, but I am also not the target audience.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Thanks to Netgalley and Quirk Books for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.