I Am Polar Bear

The Creative Company. Sept. 2019. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781568463322.
Gr 1-3–Rather than simply providing general facts about polar bears, this book focuses on how these animals interact with various ethnic communities including Russians, Inuits, Eastern Greenlanders, and even Norsemen. Lewis mentions the various names that each group has bestowed upon the polar bears, such as “Sea Bear,” “the Ever-wandering One,” and “God’s Dog.” Mythology related to polar bears and the book’s featured cultures helps explain the names that the animals have been given. The text is lean yet utilizes strong imagery and poetic language such as “fount of fierceness” and “Norsemen, who wear imagination like a garment.” The artwork captures the characteristics of the bears’ icy environment, including the color scheme, and the polar bears are drawn with soulful eyes. Back matter includes a map of their arctic habitat and information about their endangered species status, how big they can grow to be, and other scientific facts.
VERDICT An additional purchase for elementary collections where polar bears are popular.

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