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Review of Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival

Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival
by Lindsay Moore; illus. by the author
Primary     Greenwillow     48 pp.     g
1/19     978-0-06-279128-3     $17.99

A polar bear wanders alone through icy northern landscapes and across the seasons in search of food, her survival practices described as she hunts seals and paddles past sharks, narwhals, and whales. At the end of summer she must move to land — not her natural habitat — to wait for the sea ice to return. In Moore’s blue-saturated illustrations, ice, sky, and sea dominate. These elements are shown as sharply distinct (as in the harsh and unending light of summer) or blurred together (as the bear slips under the ocean surface during a turbulent storm). The text presents the voice of the bear in the first person, somber and serious (“Tossed by a tempest and nearly lost at sea, I am tired and wonder if I will ever reach land”), with refrains that capture the experiences of her species: “Polar bears are patient beasts, as patient as glaciers. We know how to hope and how to wait.” At the close of the book, the message takes on both a hopeful and urgent tone, as the bear is now accompanied by her young cubs. End notes explain that the effects of global climate change are leading to a loss of ice and thus a shrinking polar bear habitat; additional back matter includes an illustrated guide to some of the bear’s fellow Arctic creatures.

From the January/February 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Danielle J. Ford About Danielle J. Ford

Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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