So, I’m kind of nervous for polar bears. They’ve been listed as a vulnerable species since 2006 and reports last year of unusual, exhausting long journeys ending in tragedy make me feel like I’m watching something slow and inexorable unfold like getting near the end of my pile of clean socks. Granted my dwindling footwear isn’t anywhere near as grave as the polar bear’s disappearing habitat (even if there is some similarity in a shrinking pile of white), if you are at all sensitive to the need to this situation, you’ll realize just how dire some people think it is.
What to do? At very least, we can recognize how captivating these creatures are. Imagine what it would be like to be a polar bear! Tasting snow, diving, swimming, eating fish, staying warm in snowstorms, eviscerating seals….though the polar bears that come most quickly to mind are the ones who helped fuel my youth with coke and Klondike bars, there are plenty in picture books. Some have been with us long enough to become familiar, such as Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?. While it’s great to have the limelight of the cover, this book isn’t really about polar bears per se, they are just one animal in a cast. To get a better picture of the polar bear, which I can mean literally when talking about picture books, check out these two new, awesome selections:
My Little Polar Bear simply and gently tells the story of what young polar bears need to know about finding their way in snowstorms and cold ocean waters. It’s really a story about learning confidence and growing into what (eventually) comes naturally.
Baby Polar is much the same story but it shows a love and fun of exploring the neat parts of being a young polar bear. Sliding down hills, eating snow, staying warm with Mama Polar, making tracks in the snow. It’s fun, and the illustrations make me want to be a polar bear too with nuzzle noses and green clawsÂ