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Papa Bear is a soldier. When Papa has to go away, Little Bear wonders… what would it be like to go with him?
Papa is a soldier. And because he’s a soldier, sometimes Papa has to go away for a while, so Little Bear can stay and play in safety. But it’s not easy for Little Bear to be left behind. He misses the way Papa holds his hand, and touches his hair, and kisses his face and eyes. He misses Papa’s strong, warm arms.
Little Bear starts to wonder: What would it be like to stow away in Papa’s backpack? So he could stand side-by-side with Papa, and they could face the storms together. So Little Bear could whisper in Papa’s ear and see the things that Papa sees. So that he could be sure that Papa finds his way back home.
A tender, heartfelt story about the difficulties of separation, Papa’s Backpack abstractly works through the complicated emotions that come with a parent leaving for deployment. In an age appropriate way, the narrative approaches the subject with sensitivity, avoiding specifics on the complexities of a soldier’s duties. Written by and illustrated by James Christopher Carroll and published by Sleeping Bear Press.