Experience Arctic chills and warm hugs in this nonfiction picture book about a loving polar bear family from acclaimed author-illustrator Jeanette Winter.
At the top of the world, Nanuk the ice bear hunts for food, meets a mate, and hibernates through the winter with her newborn cubs. When spring arrives, Nanuk teaches her beloved cubs how to hunt and swim and survive in the arctic. This new picture book by acclaimed author-illustrator Jeanette Winter is a stunning portrait of a loving polar bear family with a subtle environmental message.
Winter (Mr. Cornell's Dream Boxes) examines the life of Nanuk, a polar bear (or "ice bear," as she refers to her), against a changing polar landscape. She tints flat, folk-art-style images, set in small rectangular boxes, with the pale blues and greens of glaciers and ocean waters; the white backgrounds are slowly engulfed by ever-rising waves, an ominous visual indicator of the threats facing Nanuk and her fellow animals. Winter explores the geography of Nanuk's Arctic surroundings, following the bear as she hunts for food, meets a male bear, digs a den, sleeps, and gives birth to two cubs. She teaches the cubs to hunt; after a few years, they leave, and she is left alone once more. "The ice is melting. The sea is rising," Winter writes. "Soon there will be no place to hunt." Winter closes with a description of Nanuk dreaming "of snow falling and falling and freezing into ice." The story is a memorable introduction to the issue of climate change for primary-school audiences, one that carries a distinct undercurrent of sadness. Ages 4 8.