Dire consequences attend the unchecked melting of Arctic sea ice.
The more the ice melts, the more the Arctic climate changes. The more that air and ground temperatures rise, the more the frozen ecosystem’s inhabitants, including plants and insects, suffer from dwindling habitats; threats to food sources; and imbalances in feeding, breeding, and migration patterns. Solid information is packed into this brief work that lucidly raises the alarm for young readers, with each spread capturing the thrilling, chilling north in rich, dramatic blue swathes of seawater set off by icy glaciers and snowdrifts. Child-friendly, occasionally cluttered paintings, some with labels, highlight polar bears and their Arctic neighbors; a spread of vignettes illustrates how changes to plant life affect wildlife. One labeled spread explains all: As seawater warms, it absorbs sunlight, thus heating more water and melting more ice. One poignant spread depicts a bewildered polar bear mom, eyeing readers and flanked by her twin cubs, drifting on a shrinking ice floe. Two human children, one brown-skinned and one pale, occasionally appear in the illustrations as well. The book ends on a hopeful note, reassuring youngsters that “we still have time to save polar bears and slow the loss of Arctic ice.” A note in the backmatter offers conservation tips.
A solid addition to the climate-change canon for those interested in saving a fragile world. (author’s note, bibliography, additional sources) (Informational picture book. 6-9)