Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Copiously illustrated with drawings and photographs, this accessible book offers an introduction to the climate, inhabitants and flora and fauna of these exotic regions. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Donna Freedman
This reference work has beautiful color photos and an obvious environmental bent. (Among other things, kids are told to stop using aerosol sprays and to ask adults to use unleaded gasoline.) The pictures are not only gorgeous, they're interesting, and kids will learn much useful information about the polar regions, including fun facts like nicknames for fragments of the South Pole icecap ("bergy bits" and "growlers") and the fact that a penguin can dive underwater as deep as 164 feet. However, the book has at least one obvious mistake - it calls the aurora borealis "rare," when in fact it can be seen regularly - and an illustrated retelling of an Inuit creation myth shows people living in snow igloos, an unnecessary perpetuation of an extremely tired stereotype.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-This overview features simple text and sharp, full-color photographs, and includes a time line of the poles' geological development and an Inuit folktale. Two-page chapters cover each topic, from geography and the different kinds of ice to the animals, birds, and people (in the Arctic) and Antarctic. The information is basic and the photographs and illustrations are interesting and appealing. However, the layout of the text is a bit cramped and hard to follow at times. A true-or-false quiz at the end tests reading comprehension and although trivial, does not detract from the book. A serviceable starting point for reports or for those with an interest in the subject.-Donna L. Scanlon, Lancaster Area Library, PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.