Polarity Bear Tours the Zoo: A Central Park Adventure by Sue de Cuevas and Wendy Rasmussen
This book tells the story of a polar bear who lives in a zoo.
She is unhappy being caged up with nothing to do.
This is the first picture book that I’ve been asked to review.
Like many illustrated books for children, it is told in rhyme.
But I have to admit, this style doesn’t work all of the time.
Okay, time to stop rhyming and look a little more closely at this book.
The book is beautifully illustrated with a water-colour technique. You can see the polar bear’s emotions quite clearly on every page. She starts out sad and depressed and then becomes happy and amazed at all of the things she sees on her adventure.
In the story, she is able to break out of her cage and she embarks on all sorts of new adventures. She is genuinely happy on this little field trip until she gets dizzy on the carousel and gets a few scrapes and bruises. She then rushes back home and no longer has to be sad about living in a small cage.
The zoo owners have expanded her habitat and made it a much better place to stay.
I like the story and the message behind it. I think zoos are a great place for children to learn about animals from different parts of the world. I know that many people are against locking up these creatures up and putting them on display, but there are ways to make sure these animals are comfortable and happy even in a zoo.
My only criticism of the book is that some of the rhymes don’t fall off of the tongue so easily. I think I hold children’s books to a fairly high standard when it comes to story and rhyme. The two need to work together perfectly.
That being said, I know children who love animals and zoos will get a lot out of this book. It can open up discussion about the fair treatment of animals. It can be a fun read one lazy afternoon. And it even ties in community since it is set in a real place with a familiar setting.
My 2013 Reading Log (with links to every title I read this year)