The Polar Bear by Jenni Desmond | SLJ Review

redstarDESMOND, Jenni. The Polar Bear. illus. by Jenni Desmond. 48p. Enchanted Lion. Nov. 2016. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781592702008.

polar-bearGr 1-4 –From the author/illustrator of The Blue Whale comes another enchanting and informative title about a threatened species. With a touch of metafictional flair, a young girl pulls this very book down from the shelf to read about polar bears and is immediately immersed in their fascinating world. She learns about their habitat, physical characteristics and adaptations, and feeding and hunting habits. The writing is engaging, and facts come at a fairly quick pace. The mixed-media artwork is charming; broad washes of color are balanced by lovely details of polar bears as they go about the business of their lives. The young girl turns up as a witness in many of the scenes; an especially sweet one depicts the bear and the girl peering into a hole in the ice as they wait for a seal to pop up for air. Perspectives vary from high overhead to up close and personal with the bear. The thick pages only add to the lush feel and quality of the work. VERDICT With beautiful, creative illustrations, this is a must-have for elementary nonfiction collections everywhere.–Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

This review was published in the School Library Journal December 2016 issue.

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