North: The Amazing Story of Arctic Migration

Overview

A passionate nature lover and a renowned artist trace the awe-inspiring spring migration of millions of creatures to the Arctic—the greatest journey on Earth.

At the top of our world is a huge wild place called the Arctic.

In the winter, it is a cold and barren land, where few animals can survive. But when spring comes, it brings with it animals from every corner of the earth. Gray whales, white cranes, wolves, and caribou begin their ...

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Overview

A passionate nature lover and a renowned artist trace the awe-inspiring spring migration of millions of creatures to the Arctic—the greatest journey on Earth.

At the top of our world is a huge wild place called the Arctic.

In the winter, it is a cold and barren land, where few animals can survive. But when spring comes, it brings with it animals from every corner of the earth. Gray whales, white cranes, wolves, and caribou begin their migrations as the snow melts, gradually making the long journey north. Once they reach their destination, they will raise their young, feast on the lush Arctic tundra, and bask in the sunlight that lasts all summer. Still, this season too must pass, and by the time winter grips the Arctic once again, the visitors have gone—only to return the following year. This lushly illustrated picture book celebrates the cyclical nature of the seasons, showcasing the barren and beautiful landscapes of the Arctic Circle and reminding the reader of the hardships and harmony of life in the wild.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Few animals can survive the harsh Arctic winter, but in the spring, many species migrate northward. Benson uses a subtle palette of slate blues and copper tones, the generously scaled spreads emphasizing onward motion as terns soar and compete for fish, and a gray whale travels from Mexico, past the Golden Gate Bridge, and to the Arctic Circle. Dowson combines sound knowledge of his subjects with thoughtful lyricism (“After spawning, this silver herring shoal heads north to feed on clouds of blooming plankton”); Benson’s lovely spreads, a mix of panels and full-bleed spreads, are a testament to the wonder of the migratory instinct. Ages 7–up. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Krisan Murphy
A lone polar bear tucks his nose down against the blizzard of swirling snowflakes and the reader feels the bitter cold in the strokes of the artist's brush. A poetic narrative captures each frame of this extraordinary book, describing the Arctic as "an icy desert." From the first glimpse of the spring sun to the tiny blooming algae, beckoning warmth unfolds and a migration to the Arctic begins—"the greatest journey on earth." Gray whales set out from a Mexican lagoon, past coastal cities in California, Canada, and Alaska to the Arctic Circle. Terns and godwits, geese and crane travel north. Caribou and wolves trek toward the awakening Arctic spring. Fish of all sizes join the journey that culminates in late May when a bowhead whale breaks up icy slabs. This book captures the majesty of the animal kingdom on its annual migration—traveling in family groups, herds, and schools. An excellent reference for students, "About the Arctic" at the end of the book provides a map, fascinating statistics, and web addresses for further study. A thirteen word glossary and index are included. This masterpiece of art and text is a must for students of all ages. Reviewer: Krisan Murphy
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Polar bears and just a few other animals—fox, musk ox, and arctic hare—are year-round residents of the far north. "But when spring comes,/bringing back the sun/with light and warmth./the Arctic changes." Animals from many parts of the world begin an annual trek northward to give birth to their young. Narwhal whales, "strange as fairy tales," swim, as do the blubbery walrus and even the Canadian caribou for part of the journey. Other creatures fly or walk. Dowson's poetic text and Benson's impressionistic watercolors introduce seasonal changes as well as various birds, mammals, and even fish that undertake the long migration. The spare text and expansive views provide an inviting sense of the terrain and the journeys endured by the animals. Fine soft pencil work shapes and shades scenes softly lighted in gold, muted green, and aquamarine tones. Set in columns of blank verse, the narrative sometimes appears in black type in a white column or running through a scene and on other pages in white letters framed on shiny aqua. Lovely wordless spreads create pauses in the evocative account. The book is an attractive entry in the growing number of nonfiction poetry picture books, offering rich read-aloud and browsing opportunities.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Kirkus Reviews
In the dark Arctic winters, few species can survive, but in short, lush summers, millions of animals return to reproduce. This combination of lyrical prose and striking illustrations conveys the mystery and magic of the far North and the cycle of darkness and rebirth that includes some astonishing migratory journeys. Dowson's examples come from all over the world: Atlantic and Pacific whales, terns and jaegers from South America, godwits from New Zealand and cranes from China as well as Canadian caribou. His simple, poetic text is set alongside or between Benson's ink, pencil and watercolor paintings, done in icy blues, grays and greens. The creatures are clearly identifiable but often seen through water or snow or from afar, against vast landscapes. Usually there are many, in schools, herds, flocks--this is an emptiness that teems with life for a short while. Six spreads have no text at all, encouraging contemplation and reflection. The backmatter locates the Arctic Ocean and ice cap in Asia, North America and Europe with both text and a map, and the illustrator has included two Atlantic-centered images of Earth from space that dramatize the extent of these journeys. Simple but effective, this is a beautiful introduction to a remarkable region that should encourage any child's sense of wonder. (index) (Informational picture book. 7-10)
Pamela Paul
Appropriately oversize considering its vast majesty, this book will inspire in young readers an equally outsize sense of wonder.
—The New York Times Book Review
From the Publisher
This striking account of arctic migration offers a northerly, book-bound counterpart to "March of the Penguins." Dowson’s descriptions are both simple and poetic, as polar bears, gray whales, jaegers, snow geese and pregnant caribou make their way from points south toward the North Pole in Benson’s sumptuous, shimmery paintings. Appropriately oversize considering its vast majesty, this book will inspire in young readers an equally outsize sense of wonder.
—The New York Times

Simple but effective, this is a beautiful introduction to a remarkable region that should encourage any child's sense of wonder.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Dowson's poetic text and Benson's impressionistic watercolors introduce seasonal changes as well as various birds, mammals, and even fish that undertake the long migration. The spare text and expansive views provide an inviting sense of the terrain and the journeys endured by the animals...an attractive entry in the growing number of nonfiction poetry picture books, offering rich read-aloud and browsing opportunities.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

The text has an appealing delicacy, with a touch of lyricism... Benson’s detailed illustrations in watercolor, pencil, and pen move easily from subtlety to grandeur; while the draftsmanship is softly realistic, the imagination behind them brings the natural world to vivid life.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763652715
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/2011
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 239,947
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 920L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Nick Dowson is the author of TRACKS OF A PANDA and TIGRESS. A teacher and naturalist, he lives in Suffolk, England.

Patrick Benson has received the Mother Goose Award, the Christopher Award, and the Kurt Maschler Award. He has collaborated with Roald Dahl, Russell Hoban, and Martin Waddell, whose book OWL BABIES has sold 12 million copies. Patrick Benson lives in Scotland.

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