Title: Polar BearsPolar-Bears1
Author: Gail Gibbons
Pages: 30
Reading Level: Beginner & Read-aloud
Star Rating: ★★★

Polar bears. Huge, white mountains of flesh and fur. The Titans of the Arctic.

I’ve seen stuffed polar bears at a museum and they’re scary. I can only imagine how scary one would be if it was running straight at me with hunger in its eyes. *shudders* But for all their ferocity, they are beautiful, too, and there is something satisfying about studying them safely in my little room in Houston, Texas.

Polar Bears is the first book that I have ever read which was dedicated exclusively to polar bears (I have, of course, had literary brushes with them on and off throughout the years). I learned a few very interesting facts. For example…

  • Some scientists believe they can smell a seal more than 3 miles away. [pg. 8]
  • A polar bear’s layer of blubber is approximately three inches thick.
  • When they are first born, polar bear cubs weigh about one pound. However an average male will weigh between 750 and 1100 pounds when full grown and may stand as tall as 10 feet. : O

Cautions.

The last three pages of Polar Bears is an impassioned account of the dangers which the polar bear population is facing today, including global warming, pollution, and evil hunters.

It is stated that “most scientists believe polar bears have been living on earth about 100,000 years.” [pg. 4]

The last page includes several random facts about polar bears, one of which is,

“Native peoples of the North call the polar bear Nanook. Traditionally, they respect the strength and power of polar bears and believe they have souls. After killing a polar bear, they thank the bear’s soul.” [pg. 30]

Two scenes show a polar bear catching a seal, but there are no signs of violence.

Page 17 states, “During the spring, female and male polar bears come together to mate. After several days they leave each other.” Nothing further is mentioned, and the illustration just shows two polar bears standing next to one another.

Conclusion. So-so. Interesting facts were mentioned, but a better book on polar bears could probably be found.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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