THE POLAR BEARS ARE HUNGRY by Carol Carrick

THE POLAR BEARS ARE HUNGRY

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7

KIRKUS REVIEW

A confusing ending mars this otherwise attractive repeat collaboration between Carrick and her son Paul (Mothers Are Like That, 2000). Snug in their den, a mother polar bear nurses and cares for her two cubs. When they grow older, mother bear takes them out and teaches them to hunt seals. She is hungry from the months spent in the den, so obtaining food is her primary concern. But as summer nears, the pack ice breaks up, and the polar bears can no longer catch seals; they wander the shores, hungry. Eventually they come to a village, where people attempt to drive them off, and ultimately drug them and move them, “to a special jail for bears.” The simple language of the text does the story a disservice here, where it is not clear what is meant by a “special jail.” Is it a zoo? Are the bears in danger? In the next spread, the bears are loose again, hunting seal, and it’s only in the long author’s note that readers learn that polar bears threatening humans are captured (and given water but no food, to make them less likely to return) and held until pack ice forms again. Acrylic illustrations capture the bears and seals perfectly, but the humans seem stiff and caricatured. A good choice for the classroom, where teachers can explain the context, but likely to confuse younger listeners. (Fiction. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 23rd, 2002
ISBN: 0-618-15962-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2002




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