You may have seen various social media posts featuring various Warwickshire Libraries Book Bears this summer – they show up at Teddy Bear Sleepovers in our libraries, have travelled quite a bit within the UK, popping up in Edinburgh and Newcastle and, in September, one made it all the way across the Atlantic for a tour of Canada and the east coast of the USA. Taking in the sights, the food, and, of course, visiting several libraries along the way, this is their story!

Hello! I’m Book Bear! You’ll probably recognise me from my various appearances online and in Warwickshire Libraries. This is the story of the Canadian/American Adventure I went on this autumn. Never having travelled so far before, I was slightly apprehensive but with books borrowed from the library, I was able to make a plan, find out places to eat and see and get ready to go! On the itinerary were lots of libraries (obviously), plenty of sights to see and exciting things I wanted to do so in early September, I flew to Toronto (via Dublin – my first time on a plane) and started to explore.

After a hearty breakfast (there’s fruit there, as well as French toast), I started with a tour of the Toronto Reference Library. What a wonderful place – so many swirly lines. Obviously it’s a place of study and studiousness so after that, I popped just over the road to the Yorkville branch of the Toronto Public Library Service. What a buzzing place – so much going on for all ages and the whole local community. I made a quick inspection of their crime shelves to check they had a few of my favourite authors such as Kathy Reichs and Ruth Rendell before making a beeline to the CN Tower – the 553 metre tall observation tower.

While there, I made some new friends (I think I would like to be a Mountie when I grow up) and braved the outdoor observation deck before relaxing with a yummy dinner in the revolving restaurant. ‘Leamington tomatoes’ were on the menu which made me feel right at home!

From Toronto, I travelled to Niagara Falls. Having read about the Falls in various books, I was very excited to see them and what a sight (and sound) they were! To make the most of the time there, I caught an old-style red London bus and visited the whirlpools by cable car, took a journey behind the Falls and rode the boat right up to the Falls (no pictures of that, I’m afraid – it was too wet and I was scared of dropping my camera in the river!)

From Niagara, it was time to fly down to Washington DC and the part of my holiday I was really looking forward to – visiting the Library of Congress ….

And I will tell you all about that next time! See you then!