Reminiscent of The Blue Whale, Desmond’s The Polar Bear is a nonfiction picture book that captivates with the range of information shared, how it imparts this knowledge, and remarkable illustrations. “Once upon a time, a child took a book from the shelf and started to read…” This child is crowned, surrounded by cuddly friends, and dressed warm for an engaging wintery read, so engaging that she joins the Polar Bear as it walks for miles over solid expanses of ice in search of food, shakes water and ice from its fur just like dogs, and swims between ice floes. This child reads a book, gains understanding, becomes aware and can in turn make a difference.
The Author’s Note introduces the story, highlighting that the polar bear is a “vulnerable and threatened species,” and that the “biggest threat to their environment is climate change.” I asked the kids how they can help. They said, “we always recycle and use our own drink bottle instead of those plastic ones you buy…I turn off switches…we ride our bikes to school…when I’m brushing my teeth I turn off the tap.”