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Overview

In the second collaboration of the mother-and-son team that created Mothers Are Like That, two cubs are born to a polar bear. Mother bear teaches her cubs how to swim and hunt seals. But when the ice melts earlier than usual?the result of a changing climate?there is not enough food to keep her milk rich or to feed her cubs. Emboldened by hunger, the bears venture into human territory, where they are captured and caged in a special jail for bears until winter returns and the ice forms once more. Then the bears are...
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The Polar Bears Are Hungry

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Overview

In the second collaboration of the mother-and-son team that created Mothers Are Like That, two cubs are born to a polar bear. Mother bear teaches her cubs how to swim and hunt seals. But when the ice melts earlier than usual—the result of a changing climate—there is not enough food to keep her milk rich or to feed her cubs. Emboldened by hunger, the bears venture into human territory, where they are captured and caged in a special jail for bears until winter returns and the ice forms once more. Then the bears are released to hunt again on the shifting floes of the Arctic.
This lyrical story of a mother and her babies is beautifully illustrated and based on fact. It includes a detailed afterword on the effects of global warming on polar bears.

A mother polar bear takes care of her new cubs, but as temperatures rise, she finds it increasingly difficult to get enough to eat.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A mother bear emerges from her den with two new cubs by her side in The Polar Bears Are Hungry by Carol Carrick, illus. by her son, Paul Carrick. Dramatic acrylics, such as one of the threesome against an Arctic sunset in lavender and tangerine, accompany a straightforward presentation of the facts (e.g., "Mother Bear is hungry. She hasn't eaten for months"). An author's note elucidates the details and explains the effect of global warming on the animal's way of life.
From The Critics
" . . . the author’s graceful text is excellent. . . . breathtaking scenes captur[e] the whiteness of landscape and animal. . . An excellent discussion starter."
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-In the spring, a polar bear emerges from hibernation and hunts for seal. As the weather warms, she has difficulty finding food for her two cubs and ends up scavenging in a village. Carrick presents the facts of the story in simple, realistic terms. Tension builds as the bears are captured and detained by wildlife officers but, unfortunately, a visual jump in the story line at the height of conflict may have readers checking to be sure they didn't miss a page. Small technical blip aside, the concept of this book is important and timely, and the author's deliberately spare, graceful text is excellent, as are Paul Carrick's acrylic paint renderings. In several breathtaking scenes, the illustrator outlines his subjects in luminous electric blue, capturing the waning northern sun reflecting the cool water and sky in the whiteness of landscape and animal. The answer to the title's intrinsic question (Why are the polar bears hungry?) is provided in the author's note at the end of the story where readers learn of the effects of global warming and other undue human interferences on the lives, and ultimately the future, of the polar-bear population. An excellent discussion starter.-Carol L. MacKay, Camrose Public Library, Alberta, Canada Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A confusing ending mars this otherwise attractive repeat collaboration between Carrick and her son Paul (Mothers Are Like That, 2000). Snug in their den, a mother polar bear nurses and cares for her two cubs. When they grow older, mother bear takes them out and teaches them to hunt seals. She is hungry from the months spent in the den, so obtaining food is her primary concern. But as summer nears, the pack ice breaks up, and the polar bears can no longer catch seals; they wander the shores, hungry. Eventually they come to a village, where people attempt to drive them off, and ultimately drug them and move them, "to a special jail for bears." The simple language of the text does the story a disservice here, where it is not clear what is meant by a "special jail." Is it a zoo? Are the bears in danger? In the next spread, the bears are loose again, hunting seal, and it’s only in the long author’s note that readers learn that polar bears threatening humans are captured (and given water but no food, to make them less likely to return) and held until pack ice forms again. Acrylic illustrations capture the bears and seals perfectly, but the humans seem stiff and caricatured. A good choice for the classroom, where teachers can explain the context, but likely to confuse younger listeners. (Fiction. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547562940
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/21/2002
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • File size: 35 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Carol Carrick has written more than twenty-five well-received books for Clarion, including PATRICK'S DINOSAURS, one of the many books illustrated by her late husband, Donald Carrick. She lives in West Tisbury, Massachusetts.
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