Byrd & Igloo: A Polar Adventure

192p. index. map. notes. photos. reprods. Scholastic. Oct. 2013. Tr $18.99. ISBN 978-0-545-56276-8.
Gr 3–6—Readers learn about Richard E. Byrd's arctic adventures from the point of view of the small dog that accompanied him every step of the way. While some background information is provided about the explorer and aviator's earlier years, Seiple's work primarily focuses on the years between 1926 and 1931 when Byrd's dog, Igloo, was with him and during which time he flew over both the North and South poles. Told in narrative style in brief chapters, their adventures read more like a novel than a history book as a great deal of anthropomorphizing of Igloo's thoughts and feelings are included. However, the use of a dog is an excellent gateway into polar adventure for elementary students and makes it a more compelling read. Much of the book draws from primary sources and includes a number of photographs, adding interest and historical credibility, but it is better suited for general-interest reading than report writing. Overall this is a solid and engaging look at Byrd's explorations that will appeal to children interested in history and adventure.—Elizabeth Nicolai, Anchorage Public Library, AK

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