Ice Bears

Overview

On a freezing day in the arctic, two polar bear cubs venture outside with their mother. She teaches them how to use their claws so they don?t slip in their frozen world. Then she leads them across the sea ice, the only place to hunt for seals, their primary food. The bears need lots of fat to survive through the summer when the ice is gone and food is scarce.

Best-selling author Brenda Guiberson gives young readers a fascinating glimpse into the world of the polar bear. ...

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Overview

On a freezing day in the arctic, two polar bear cubs venture outside with their mother. She teaches them how to use their claws so they don’t slip in their frozen world. Then she leads them across the sea ice, the only place to hunt for seals, their primary food. The bears need lots of fat to survive through the summer when the ice is gone and food is scarce.

Best-selling author Brenda Guiberson gives young readers a fascinating glimpse into the world of the polar bear. Breathtaking illustrations by Ilya Spirin bring the rich details of the arctic to life.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
As winter descends on the Arctic, a polar bear gives birth in her den to two cubs. She nurses them through the winter, but by March she must eat if all are to survive. She teaches them how to walk on the frozen ground and struggles with them to reach the sea safely. She manages to catch enough seals to produce milk. By June, she and the cubs must accumulate enough fat to last through the seasons. The short summer arrives; the ice begins to crack. They go ashore and keep eating, plagued by mosquitoes. When the sea finally freezes, the bears return to the ice to hunt again. The double-page scenes focus on the bears and their efforts to survive, with some additional information about the environment on land and sea and of course the snow. Spirin creates naturalistic watercolor paintings of scenes visualized to enhance the story-telling qualities and evoke emotion more than photographs. The informative text and illustrations stimulate our curiosity while stressing the importance of the environment to the lives of the bears. Endnotes are warnings and alerts to the danger of the loss of the ice from global warming. Be sure to take off the jacket to enjoy the bears and seals across the cover. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 1-4

This story of the struggle of a polar bear mother and her two cubs to survive introduces both the harsh conditions of the Arctic and the challenges of global warming for polar bears in general. Guiberson uses precise verbs and onomatopoeia to paint a picture of the daily activities of the bears while gracefully weaving in facts about their weight, diet, and climate. Spirin's detailed watercolors are surprisingly varied in depicting an essentially frozen world, using interesting perspectives including a close-up view inside the bears' den and a view of them peering through the ice as witnessed from below. End matter includes a call for action to slow global warming and a list of organizations to contact online. Pair this with Robert E. Wells's Polar Bear, Why Is Your World Melting? (Albert Whitman, 2008) for a science read-aloud session.-Ellen Heath, Easton Area Public Library, Easton, PA

From the Publisher
"Lush, realistic watercolor illustrations.... This is a worthy introduction to a topic with perennial interest."

Booklist

"The informative text and illustrations stimulate our curiosity while stressing the importance of the environment to the lives of the bears."

Children's Literature

"Guiberson uses precise verbs and onomatopoeia to paint a picture of the daily activities of the bears while gracefully weaving in facts.... Spirin's detailed watercolors are surprisingly varied in depicting an essentially frozen world."

School Library Journal

“A directory of environmental groups working to reduce global warming equip[s] young readers with the tools to address the problem."

The New York Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250040619
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 2/18/2014
  • Edition description: Yes, full copies only
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 780,781
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Brenda Z. Guiberson has written many books for children, including Cactus Hotel, Spoonbill Swamp, Moon Bear and Disasters. As a child, Brenda never thought she wanted to be a writer—her dreams tended more toward jungle explorer. She graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in English and Fine Art. She started thinking about writing for children when her son went to elementary school, and she volunteered in his class and in the school library. After taking exciting trips that involved a fifty-foot cactus, hungry alligators and sunset-colored spoonbills, she wanted to create books for children that would be like a field trip. Her books are full of well-researched detail, and Brenda sees this research as an adventure—one that allows her to be a jungle explorer at last. She lives in Seattle, Washington.

 

Ilya Spirin is the son of award-winning illustrator Gennady Spirin. Ice Bears was his first book. He lives in New Jersey.

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