HELLO, ARCTIC! by Theodore Taylor


Age Range: 3 - 7
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Taylor (The Boy Who Could Fly Without a Motor, p. 581, etc.), well known for his middle-grade and YA novels, fails to tell a story with his first picture book. Inspired by Taylor’s experiences with the region, it touches briefly upon Arctic winter before summer returns, and then, after listing and welcoming various polar animals—“Seals splash. / Hello, seals. / Walrus dive. / Hello, walrus”—shows the wind and snow returning again. But the circle of life isn’t really the theme—it’s not told, for example, what the seals or walrus do in winter—and the change of seasons doesn’t seem to be the theme either, since most but not all of the text deals with summer. The unevocative language never brings the animals or the land alive. Chodos-Irvine’s (Apple Pie Fourth of July, p. 583, etc.) block prints don’t quite do it, either, though many of them are lovely in themselves. By the end of the 15 double-page spreads, you feel you’ve been watching slides from your neighbor’s vacation. No matter how simple, every picture book should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This one seems all middle—and a muddled middle, too. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-15-201577-9
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2002


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