Ralph, renowned explorer, tackles the Arctic. Gamely scoffing as he loses piece after piece of equipment (""I laugh at danger. I laugh at being alone in the middle of nowhere with no dogs and no dogsled""), he lurches on till he stumbles into an igloo where a friendly polar bear is busy with his maps. The bear can talk, but he's taciturn; still, the two become friends and set out for the Pole, losing and then finding each other along the way. Primavera, known for her sensitive yet lively illustrations for family stories like Gauch's Christina Katerina books, comes up with an equally lively style for her first published text: her tall tale is told with droll wit, in simple, delightfully pungent language that makes it perfect for reading aloud. The sweeping snowscapes, affable bear, and feisty, wild-eyed little explorer are all good fun, too. Unusually fresh and imaginative.