Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World

Overview


From the bestselling author of Owen & Mzee, a picture book about Knut, the adorable polar bear cub who's captured hearts around the world.

When Knut was born, the first polar bear cub at the Berlin Zoo in more than thirty years, he was no bigger than a snowball and unable to care for himself. His mother, a rescued East German circus bear, didn't know how to take care of Knut and rejected him. Knut would have died if it weren't for Thomas Dorflein, a zookeeper who nurtured ...

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Overview


From the bestselling author of Owen & Mzee, a picture book about Knut, the adorable polar bear cub who's captured hearts around the world.

When Knut was born, the first polar bear cub at the Berlin Zoo in more than thirty years, he was no bigger than a snowball and unable to care for himself. His mother, a rescued East German circus bear, didn't know how to take care of Knut and rejected him. Knut would have died if it weren't for Thomas Dorflein, a zookeeper who nurtured Knut, feeding him, sleeping with him, and giving him the love and attention Knut needed to thrive. But Thomas wasn't the only one who adopted Knut. The adorable little polar bear captured the world's attention, and now Knut is loved around the globe.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
The best selling father/daughters team who brought us Owen and Mzee have turned to a polar bear cub in Berlin to further promote their message about environmental responsibility. Photographs and clearly worded text follow the story of how the zookeeper Thomas Dorflein became the full-time substitute parent for the cub who was rejected by its mother shortly after birth. This is a solid informational book, with a very clear political agenda. As was true with the hippo Owen, the Hatkoffs assure us that Thomas and the polar bear cub's relationship cannot and should not extend past Knut's first year, since to do so would not respect the laws of nature—and one of the motivations for this book on what has been hailed as "The Cutest Animal Ever" is to alert the world to the danger of the extinction of polar bears, due to global warning. Interestingly, there is a brief allusion but no real exploration of quite a different issue about man's interference with nature. A zoo visitor created a stir when he pointed out that, by definition, zoos can be seen as interfering with the laws of nature, for in the wild, Knut would not have been rescued, or survived, after being rejected by his mother. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3
Knut is a German polar bear born in captivity. His story is told in simple language and accompanied by adorable, engaging close-ups of him and his primary handler, a zookeeper named Thomas Dörflein. Originally one of two cubs born to a befuddled mother, Knut alone survived, and he began to thrive under his human surrogates' loving care. Predictably, it's the color pictures of the cuddly cub that really sell this sterling title; Knut is, naturally, very photogenic. Readers who are too young to appreciate the light nonfiction narrative can approach this book purely as a photo-essay and still take a great deal away from it. The authors make quick work of the sensational, incendiary statement that launched Knut into the spotlight-that he should have been left to die. Instead they use his words to open an important dialogue and share information about Knut's natural habitat and how to preserve it. Consider this well-written, well-documented title an essential addition to every collection.
—Catherine ThreadgillCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Young children will indeed be captivated by this tale of a baby polar bear raised by a zookeeper in the Zoo Berlin, but it is the adorable cuddly bear in the photographs that they will fall in love with. Born in December 2006, Knut was adopted by Thomas Dorflein when Knut's mother showed little interest in raising her cub. This is the story of how Dorflein took care of Knut-his feedings and sleeping, teething, playing and learning how to be a polar bear. When the zoo finally determined that Knut was old enough for public appearances, his first foray into the limelight was met by hundreds of reporters, cameras and adoring fans. His tale alerted the public to the plight of wild polar bears, whose habitat is shrinking because of global warming. Backmatter includes more information about polar bears and the threat to their survival, as well as a short list of ways children can help alleviate the effects of global warming. Teachers will enjoy sharing the co-authors' ages with their writing students (eight and twelve). A great way to raise children's awareness, this is sure to be a favorite with young animal-lovers. (Nonfiction. 5-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545047166
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/2007
  • Series: Knut Series
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 360,109
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: NC950L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Craig Hatkoff is the co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival and of Turtle Pond Publications. Both Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship and Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship are New York Times bestsellers. He lives with his wife and their two daughters in Manhattan.
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2007

    A reviewer

    This was such a heart-warming story. I couldn't help but be touched by the photographs and story. The dedication and love shown by the zookeeper is an example of how we should cherish and care for God's creatures. I highly recommend it.

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    Posted March 27, 2010

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