Kirkus Reviews QR Code
LITTLE BEAR AND THE <i>MARCO POLO</i> by Else Holmelund Minarik


by Else Holmelund Minarik, illustrated by Dorothy Doubleday

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-06-085485-0
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Minarik revives her classic beginning-reader series with this new title about Little Bear, in which the cub spends a day with his grandparents, whom readers may recall from Little Bear’s Visit (1961). Alongside Grandfather Bear, he explores the attic of their home and hears about his grandfather’s courtship of Grandmother Bear and his days as a sea captain. Discussing what it would be like to sail around the world in Grandpa’s boat, the Marco Polo, they talk of seeing polar bears at the North Pole, pandas in China and koalas in Australia. After visiting the docked boat, Grandpa assures Little Bear, “There’s no place like home,” and they enjoy a snack of Grandmother’s cookies. While this is a charming story that will surely attract readers due to the characters’ established place in the field, Doubleday’s accompanying art lacks the personality and polish of Sendak’s work in the titles from the 1950s and ’60s. The pictures do, however, go a long way in supporting the controlled text, which will aid new readers in decoding and enjoying it. (Early reader. 4-8)