POLAR BOLERO by Debi Gliori


A Bedtime Dance
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 7
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A young polar bear with a case of insomnia sneaks out for a midnight dance in this happy bedtime adventure. With eyes wide open long after sunset, a little bear gathers up his favorite toys, thumps down the stairs, and scoots out the door to the “place where the wide-awake meet.” There: “Over oceans and mountains, / across rivers and streams . . . / the Polar Bolero makes / you DANCE in your dreams.” After all of that whirling and twirling, however, the “wide-awakes” find themselves starting to wilt. Soon the youthful truant is safely ensconced in his bed once again, settling down to sleep with a loving hug and soft kiss from mom. While the perky tempo and fanciful prose sweep readers up in the exuberance of the tale, Gliori’s fantastical illustrations steal the show. Her oversized, full-page, color-laden watercolors draw readers into a chimerical universe overflowing with whimsy—one in which a hot-air balloon–shaped moon presides over a merry melée of frolicsome creatures. Varying perspectives greet each turn of the page, often with a huge image—of bear’s behind, or mom’s outsized back as her arms sweep wide. Gliori’s wry humor abounds in her illustrations: the polar bear’s “house” is revealed to be an old-fashioned refrigerator and shadowy images of his fellow nocturnal revelers make up the pattern of the quilt on his bed. Unabashed fun that is bound to resonate with sleepless tots and dance them to dreamland. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-15-202436-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2001


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