ICE KING by Ernestine N. Byrd
Kirkus Star


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A good polar bear story is even rarer than a good Eskimo story and this is both. Ice King concentrates on polar bears by following the life history of one, Atu. The same Eskimo hunters who slaughtered his parents sheltered the cub who became the special pet of the boy, Komo. His rapid growth and the demands of nature called Atu away and it was not until the whole cycle of his development was complete, when he had mated and attempted to defend his mate from hunters, that the two meet briefly again. Then, the dim recollection of the beast forces Atu to hesitate just long enough to save his own life, possibly the lives of at least one of Komo's group. This is excellent nature writing in a form that has become increasingly popular at the adult level-- scientifically sound and personalized through the concentration on one animal (see Murphy, Eckert, Russell). Mrs. Byrd keeps her narrative active and visual with hunting and fighting details few women could handle this well.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1965
Publisher: Scribners