Ice Bear In the Steps of the Polar Bear

Overview

Follow the path of the awe-inspiring polar bear as it strives to survive in an age-old Arctic habitat threatened by global warming.

Huge, magnificent, and solitary, a polar bear moves through the frozen Arctic. Powerful hunter, tireless swimmer, tender mother, gentle playmate ? she is superbly adapted for surviving, even thriving, in this harsh and icy climate. Written in poetic language interspersed with fascinating facts, Nicola Davies' breathtaking tale of this massive, stark...

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Overview

Follow the path of the awe-inspiring polar bear as it strives to survive in an age-old Arctic habitat threatened by global warming.

Huge, magnificent, and solitary, a polar bear moves through the frozen Arctic. Powerful hunter, tireless swimmer, tender mother, gentle playmate — she is superbly adapted for surviving, even thriving, in this harsh and icy climate. Written in poetic language interspersed with fascinating facts, Nicola Davies' breathtaking tale of this massive, stark white animal is brought to life in striking paintings by Gary Blythe. Just as the Inuit people have watched and learned from this amazing creature for generations, readers are invited to witness the majesty of Ice Bear.

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Editorial Reviews

Elizabeth Ward
The paintings…blend science and poetry. Most take up entire borderless double pages, as if anything less would not do for either Arctic panoramas or the bears' massive bulk, and they are seriously beautiful. But they are precisely observed, too. One spread shows nothing but a life-size snowy paw print…Natural history for beginners—at its best.
—The Washington Post
Children's Literature
The icy blue of the jacket/cover and end-papers sets the stage for this introduction to the polar bear, the Inuit's Nanuk, "made for our frozen world!" On mainly double pages, the bear makes its way as the text celebrates its power and majesty. Larger type describes—with excitement and a romantic touch—its life, its travels for food, its wintering in a den with cubs, its summer trek essentially alone. Smaller type in gentle curves adds many additional facts about the bears, never distracting from the drama of their lives. With oil paints and pencil, Blythe creates realistic scenes that are dominated by the blue-ish haze that effectively conveys the icy environment. Except for a couple of hunting images, one of which includes the necessary blood, the story peacefully conveys the frozen silence. More information on polar bears and an index are included. 2005, Candlewick Press, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Given the number of anthropomorphized polar bears in picture books, it is important to have one that acknowledges the bears' actual relationship with the people who share the Arctic north. There is no plot; pages are filled with tidbits of information in different font sizes about the animals. Texture from the canvas often shows through the color in the oil-and-pencil illustrations. This technique lends an ethereal, painterly quality that is often lovely, and occasionally distracting. Images are very realistic. One close-up shows the bear's face smeared with blood after a seal kill. In the end, the unnamed narrator explains what the Inuit have learned from these animals. A quiet, thoughtful book.-Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Impressionistic, dramatically lit Arctic scenes form an apt backdrop for this brief, strongly worded tribute to the world's largest non-marine predator. Taking an Inuit voice and point of view, Davies explains how polar bears keep warm, hunt, play, raise young and survive in different seasons in their native habitats. Despite some over-design-distracting curvy lines of side commentary in a smaller typeface-and a rather startling close-up of a bear's bloody muzzle after a successful seal hunt, this offers younger fans not yet up to the likes of Dorothy Hinshaw Patent's Great Ice Bear (1999), illustrated by Anne Wertheim, both basic bear facts and compelling atmosphere. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763627591
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/2005
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD950L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.79 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

NICOLA DAVIES is a zoologist and the award-winning author of books for children, including SURPRISING SHARKS, POOP: A NATURAL HISTORY OF THE UNMENTIONABLE, and BAT LOVES THE NIGHT. She says, "I love the emptiness of the Arctic, the stark landscapes and the clear light, but the ability of animals and people to survive in such an unforgiving place fills me with total wonder! Inuit and polar bear are the twin masters of Arctic living, so it seemed natural that they should be together in this book." Nicola Davies lives in Somerset, England.

GARY BLYTHE has illustrated several acclaimed children's books, including BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA and the Kate Greenaway Medal winner THE WHALES' SONG, written by Dyan Sheldon. Of ICE BEAR, he says, "This is my first nonfiction children's book about animals, so just the subject matter alone has provided me with ample inspiration! Ice Bear was a refreshing change of subject matter and palette." Gary Blythe lives in Liverpool, England. This is his first picture book for Candlewick Press.

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