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Children's LiteratureThe mighty polar bear is at the top of the food chain in the harsh environment of the Arctic. Nearly eight-feet long and weighing close to 500 pounds, the adult is a powerful hunter. It uses cunning and great skill to stalk and kill its prey. The bear's sense of smell can pick up a scent twenty miles away, and it may even swim sixty miles without stopping in order to track seals or small whales. The bear is especially suited for this feat with its thick fur coat covering a four-inch-thick layer of fat to protect against the frigid waters. Sandra Markle makes each word count in this addition to the "Animal Predators" series. The book is brimming with interesting facts about the bear's behavior, habitat, and life cycle. Amazing photos capture the polar bear in action. The "Looking Back" section at the end invites readers to take yet another look at the pictures to discover a unique aspect that may not be apparent with one reading. A helpful glossary defines some of the major words for quick reference. The author's remarkable background all but guarantees a thorough educational experience for the reader. Her credits include science education consultant and elementary science teacher. She has also developed science specials for CNN and PBS programming and is the recipient of the American Library Association's Notable Book award. 2004, Carolrhoda Books, Ages 8 to 12.