North Pole / South Pole

Quarto/words & pictures. Sept. 2020. 64p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9780711254749.
Gr 2-5–The flip-book design of this title provides an interactive element. Readers turn the book one way to learn about one pole and flip it over to learn about the other. The text describes the weather, landscape, and creatures that live on the land and in the sea surrounding each pole. Each end page includes a large, double-page map of the pole, which identifies some of the locations mentioned in the text. The text also explains how and why humans interact with each landmass, covering the history of exploration and current research efforts. The primary focus is on the animals that reside on or around each pole, including fish, mammals, and birds. The adaptations that enable them to withstand extreme cold are detailed. Short paragraphs of clearly labeled information are set against a pleasing backdrop of scenery, which uses an abundance of blue and white hues. Bright aims to compare and contrast the two poles, so it would seem standard for the text to contain phrases such as “Petrels, like the fulmars of the Arctic,” when creatures are similar. However, understanding those similarities and differences is up to the reader. A table of contents is included for each pole, but there is no index.
VERDICT This large, attractive book could serve as a good introduction to the Arctic and Antarctic, but without an index (no doubt due to its flip-book format), it may be difficult for students to quickly locate specific information.

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