My Little Polar Bear

My Little Polar Bear

by Claudia Rueda
     
 

This quintessential love book for parent and child -- a standout in the genre -- promises to become a perennial favorite for generations to come.

A winter wonderland awaits a young polar bear cub that emerges from its den for the first time. As the cub sets out on a dramatic arctic journey, it worries whether it has the skills to survive. But a parent's abiding

Overview


This quintessential love book for parent and child -- a standout in the genre -- promises to become a perennial favorite for generations to come.

A winter wonderland awaits a young polar bear cub that emerges from its den for the first time. As the cub sets out on a dramatic arctic journey, it worries whether it has the skills to survive. But a parent's abiding presence and simple, reassuring words instill confidence and love.

In the tradition of such classics as THE RUNAWAY BUNNY and MAMA DO YOU LOVE ME?, this graceful, soothing tale speaks to the powerful bond between parent and child, and to the many stages of a child's growing independence, from first steps to first school experience and even to leaving home.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rueda's (Let's Play in the Forest) warm and fuzzy text offers an unexpected contrast to her cool Arctic spreads, suffused with a subtle feeling of wintry magic. “Am I a polar bear?” a cub fresh from its den asks its mother, who leads the cub through unremitting expanses of Arctic snow, water and ice. They are ghostly white shapes against pale pastel backgrounds, silhouettes without fur or modeling; only their outlines and some minimal shadowing distinguish them from the snow. A line or two per page slows the story to a gentle stroll. “Yes, little one,” the mother answers. “You can walk on snow and melting ice, just like a polar bear. You smell seals from far away.” When the cub is uncertain (“But I slip on melting ice, I can't catch a seal”) its mother reassures: “Don't worry, little one, I will stay with you, and I will teach you what polar bears need to know.” At the end of their journey, the mother polar bear curls herself around her baby, offering protection and security. A comforting bedtime story for youngest readers. Up to age 3. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Keri Collins Lewis
As a small cub leaves his snowy cave, he asks his mother, "Am I a polar bear?" Not content with his mother's affirmative answer, he questions how she knows. Thus begins this simple story of what makes a polar bear a polar bear: living in the Arctic, white fur, large padded feet, and skills such as smelling seals. The cub's confidence waivers during a snowstorm but his mother quickly reassures him that she will stay with him and teach him what he needs to know. In the end, the cub is secure in the knowledge that he is loved. Colombian author-illustrator Claudia Rueda provides a basic lesson in polar bear characteristics while conveying the deeper message that a parent is the companion, teacher, and protector a child needs as he grows toward independence. This gentle message is reinforced by the cool palette used throughout the book. However, Rueda balances the monotony of the icy landscape by changing visual perspective for some illustrations, such as a spread featuring an overhead view of the bears' walk among leafless trees or the view of the bears swimming from underneath. Classroom teachers can incorporate this book into studies about animals and environments, while parents will enjoy reading this quiet book before bedtime. Reviewer: Keri Collins Lewis
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Rueda perfectly blends the story of a polar bear's love for her cub with primary facts about these animals. Implicitly environmental in the belief that people will protect what they understand, the story is sensitively told in dialogue format, with a strong undergirding of fact and observation. The cub wants to know for sure that it is a polar bear. Mother reassures her baby, and supports her claim by noting specific attributes on subsequent spreads: "Your feet are large and padded. You can walk on snow and melting ice, just like a polar bear. You smell seals from far away." Like the oversize text, the computer-enhanced illustrations in blues, whites, and grays are expansive and spare, giving children the space to feel the doubts and discoveries of the young animal. The cub's musings culminate in a silent, scary challenge to bound up a glacier during a snowstorm, illustrated without words, but clear in danger. Ultimately, the mother comforts the cub, telling it she will teach it everything polar bears need to know. Then the youngster realizes one thing: it is loved. Clothed in a quiet, thoughtful tone, an ode to a questioning disposition and scientific observation, this is a lovely introduction to the largest carnivore on land. Pair it with Lauren Thompson's outstanding Polar Bear Night (Scholastic, 2004).—Sara Paulson-Yarovoy, American Sign Language and English Lower School PS 347, New York City

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545146005
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
10/01/2009
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.72(w) x 11.34(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

Meet the Author


Claudia Rueda grew up in Colombia, where she attended law and art school, worked as a political cartoonist, and published educational books for UNICEF. She is the author-illustrator of LET’S PLAY IN THE FOREST, a National Parenting Publications Gold Award winner and a 2008 Colombian IBBY Honor Book, as well as the illustrator of Pam Muñoz Ryan’s NACHO AND LOLITA. She lives in Bogotá, Colombia. You can visit her at www.claudiarueda.com.

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