Nothing Ever Happens at the South Pole

Overview

There's a lot going on at the South Pole! There are slippery slopes and frozen floes and wild animals all around. But when one penguin goes looking for adventure, he doesn't see anything exciting at all going on. Could it be he's just not looking closely enough?

From the creators of the Berenstain Bears comes a storybook filled with adventure for all.

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Overview

There's a lot going on at the South Pole! There are slippery slopes and frozen floes and wild animals all around. But when one penguin goes looking for adventure, he doesn't see anything exciting at all going on. Could it be he's just not looking closely enough?

From the creators of the Berenstain Bears comes a storybook filled with adventure for all.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Originally intended as the Berenstains' second book—following The Big Honey Hunt (1962), which marked the first appearance of the Berenstain Bears—this story was set aside as the husband-and-wife team focused on their popular Bear family. After the death of Stan Berenstain in 2005, Jan finished the book with their son, Mike. The story features an oblivious main character for readers to feel smarter than and a humorous disconnect between text and art—now-common contrivances that are used more successfully elsewhere. After the penguin receives a blank book ("Something happens every day./ Write it down right away" reads the cover), he leaves his igloo looking for a story. In clunky, singsong rhymes, the penguin ?recounts his futile search for adventure ("No! That is no good—/ I made a snowball. Look./ That is not good/ for my new book"), but the illustrations tell another story. The penguin's snowball wipes out three ferocious wolves, lumps of snow are really polar bears, and a "stepping stone" in the water is actually a submerged (and angry) walrus. With awkward, repetitive verse and a thin plot, this story has little to offer. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Originally intended to be the follow-up to the Berenstains's The Big Honey Hunt (Random, 1962), this manuscript was completed by Jan and their son Mike after Stan's death. Following the pattern of the early books, the rhymed text features an endearing character reminiscent of Papa Bear at his most clueless. Having received a blank journal in the mail, a penguin sets off on a walk near his South Pole igloo, determined to have adventures to write about. As he wanders, he dreams of stopping bad guys with a giant snowball, jumping on monsters, facing danger on an ice floe, and escaping whales; he is oblivious to the fact that all these things are happening around him. Finally, the penguin returns home, hoping to find something interesting to write about tomorrow. The repetitive text is fine for beginning readers, but some of the verses do not scan properly. Humorous pictures make up for any faults in the text, as long as readers are willing to get past the fact that polar bears, Arctic wolves, and walruses do not live at the South Pole. Like the lucky chicken in Pat Hutchins's Rosie's Walk (Macmillan, 1968), this peripatetic penguin manages to escape becoming a meal. Children will enjoy finding the lurking predators and predicting what will happen next.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Children's-literature buffs and staunch fans of the Berenstains (The Big Honey Hunt, 1962, etc.) will be thrilled that the second manuscript ever produced by the famed pair--shelved due to the enormous success of the Berenstain Bears characters introduced in their first book--is finally seeing the light of day. When an eager penguin unexpectedly receives a blank journal in the mail, he begins to wish for adventures to record in it, only to be disappointed when (he thinks) they don't pan out. Readers glean from the illustrations that the penguin's wishes are, in fact, coming true even though he remains oblivious, demonstrating a tunnel vision worthy of Mr. Magoo. He imagines, for instance, that he spies a giant eye staring at him and quickly concludes that it is not an eye at all, but a piece of rock or a snail. The pictures reveal that the eye really does belong to a whale that swallows the penguin and sends him barreling out of his spout, all with the penguin none the wiser. After a series of such misadventures, the penguin makes his first journal entry: "NOTHING HAPPENED HERE TODAY." The counterpoint between text and illustrated subtext is amusing, but the rhymed verse demonstrates a tin ear: "Not bad! Not bad! / It is the best yet. / How much more dangerous / can you get?" Sadly, while the concept is clever, the unwieldy, often awkward verse ensures that this effort will place a distant second to the many tales featuring those Bears. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062075321
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 785,323
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Stan and Jan Berenstain were already successful cartoonists for magazines and adult humor books when they began writing children's books. The first story starring the bear family, The Big Honey Hunt, appeared in 1962. Since then, more than 250 Berenstain Bears books have been published, and more than 260 million copies have been sold. What began as an idea sparked by their young sons' interest in children's books has become over the years arguably the best-selling children's book series ever.

Since their inception, the Berenstain Bears stories have expanded to include picture books, beginning readers, and chapter books—even a hit TV show on PBS. Writing and illustrating the books has become a Berenstain family affair. Mike joined with his parents as a creative team in the late 1980s. The Bear family has expanded over the years as well. Sister Bear arrived in 1974, and baby Honey joined the family in 2000.

Since Stan's death at age eighty-two in 2005, Jan and Mike have continued to write and illustrate wonderful new adventures for Mama, Papa, Brother, Sister, and Honey Bear. They live in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which looks a lot like Bear Country.

Stan and Jan Berenstain were already successful cartoonists for magazines and adult humor books when they began writing children's books. The first story starring the bear family, The Big Honey Hunt, appeared in 1962. Since then, more than 370 Berenstain Bears books have been published, and more than 300 million copies have been sold. What began as an idea sparked by their young sons' love of reading has become over the years arguably the best-selling children's book series ever.

Since their inception, the Berenstain Bears stories have expanded to include picture books, beginning readers, and chapter books--even a hit TV show on PBS. Writing and illustrating the books has become a Berenstain family affair. Mike joined with his parents as a creative team in the late 1980s. The Bear family has expanded over the years as well. Sister Bear arrived in 1974, and baby Honey joined the family in 2000.

Though Stan died in 2005 and Jan in 2012, Mike continues to create the delightful Berenstain Bear adventures from his studio in Pennsylvania.

Stan and Jan Berenstain were already successful cartoonists for magazines and adult humor books when they began writing children's books. The first story starring the bear family, The Big Honey Hunt, appeared in 1962. Since then, more than 370 Berenstain Bears books have been published, and more than 300 million copies have been sold. What began as an idea sparked by their young sons' love of reading has become over the years arguably the best-selling children's book series ever.

Since their inception, the Berenstain Bears stories have expanded to include picture books, beginning readers, and chapter books--even a hit TV show on PBS. Writing and illustrating the books has become a Berenstain family affair. Mike joined with his parents as a creative team in the late 1980s. The Bear family has expanded over the years as well. Sister Bear arrived in 1974, and baby Honey joined the family in 2000.

Though Stan died in 2005 and Jan in 2012, Mike continues to create the delightful Berenstain Bear adventures from his studio in Pennsylvania.

Mike Berenstain lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he continues to write and illustrate wonderful new adventures for Mama, Papa, Brother, Sister, and Honey Bear.

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