Sally Grindley & John Butler (illustrator)
Oh. My. Goodness. Have I mentioned that I love polar bears? Because I do. Forget waiting on a Frog Prince, I'll take a Polar Bear Prince! With that understanding, you'll see why this book initially caught my eye. Curled up reading the book, I was mesmerized - the illustrations are gorgeous. Realistic, but still ... not exactly fanciful or romanticized, but I definitely wanted to curl up with Polar Star, the momma polar bear, and her two cubs (Snowball and Snowflake). The bears have expression and personality, but they don't have that 'cartoon'-vibe if you know what I'm saying.
The story itself is straightforward: momma polar bear and her cubs emerge from their snow-den and the cubs get their first taste of the real world. It's a real story. It features blood and danger. It reflects the reality of polar bears in the wild - but in a way that is accessible for kiddies. I like that. I'm not a fan of 'dummying down' anything, but at the same time, you've got to keep in mind your audience: not many 4-7 year olds are going to be able to understand 'full scientific narration'. So I do like the way the 'science' of it is mixed and presented as 'story'. Also, at the end of the book is a "Polar Bear Facts" page which sort of help reinforce the idea that polar bears are real - and this story could be real.
Definitely a beautiful book that I look forward to using to share my polar bear love with kiddies in the future.
Book provided by publisher for review.