Poe and Lars

Little Bee. Oct. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781499811582.
PreS-Gr 1–Poe is a small, brown-skinned girl in a parka, living in an arctic setting where she occasionally yells at the glaciers to stop melting. She is eaten up one day by a “hangry” polar bear named Lars, but from the inside she pries his jaws open and makes a deal—if he will help rebuild her ruined home, she’ll feed him. True to her word, she quickly stockpiles fish, and although Lars briefly considers taking advantage of her generosity when she is pulled into the icy water, he remembers how lonely, and hungry, life was before Poe, and he saves her. Watercolor-like scenes of the cozy home they build together follow, along with a rainbow array of fish, scenes of Lars and Poe drying off by the fire, and a conversation about the climate’s effects on their surroundings. Back matter is the real source of information about the climate, tipped in for those just learning about global warming.
VERDICT With cheerful illustrations, Hogan’s tone matches the lighthearted banter of the storytelling, making this a sure hit among preschoolers.

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