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Author: Heder, Thyra
Sophie is uninterested in writing a research report on polar bears until a polar bear named Olafur swoops her away to the Arctic, where she learns all about the playful bear's habits and habitat, from glacier ice to Northern Lights.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 1.20
Points: .5 Quiz: 175349
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/01/15)
School Library Journal (10/01/15)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 10/01/2015 Sophie’s homework is to find three facts about polar bears, but she is more interested in watching TV and just phones it in: “They are big.” “They eat things.” “They are mean.” Just as she is settling down in front of the glowing screen, however, she discovers a giant polar bear perched in an armchair. His name is Olafur, and he wants to show her around his home. In beautiful watercolor illustrations, Sophie playfully learns about life in the Arctic, from whales singing beneath the frigid water to the iridescent aurora borealis. With Olafur as a guide, Sophie realizes the Arctic isn’t a barren wasteland of ice, but a vibrant environment worth saving. Heder’s conversational, handwritten lines casually identify wildlife and Arctic features without getting too fact heavy, which may be more welcoming to kids turned off by informational texts. Meanwhile, the aqueous watercolor washes are the perfect medium for the icy seas. A final spread reveals Sophie enthusiastically researching polar bears and plastering the TV with drawings of Olafur. A breezy, entertaining introduction to the Arctic. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2015 K-Gr 2—Wordless panels show Sophie struggling with her homework. On the following spread, the girl abandons her homework for the TV after she manages to list three "facts" about polar bears: "They are big. They eat things. They are mean." But the page turn brings a giant polar bear right into her living room in a striking spread—"We're not ALL mean." The bear introduces himself and insists on taking Sophie on a personal tour of his home in the Arctic, and then miraculously they are there. Lush watercolor illustrations create a breathtaking setting shown from a variety of perspectives that capture the vastness and beauty of the region. The true details of the place become as fantastic as the fantasy elements of the plot. The bear shows Sophie what he likes to eat (his take on fish sticks) and the music he likes (whale song), and after overcoming a near disaster on a melting iceberg, the two share a last moment together enjoying the Northern Lights. Information about the Arctic is peppered throughout the adventure, and the final wordless spread shows Sophie working feverishly into the night on her school assignment. VERDICT Those inspired by the visuals and details may want to seek out more information on the Arctic and its wildlife.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.