Review of Ice!: Poems About Polar Life

Ice!: Poems About Polar Life
by Douglas Florian; illus. by the author
Primary    Holiday    48 pp.    g
12/20    978-0-8234-4101-3    $17.99

Twenty-one humorous poems, each with an accompanying whimsical illustration (an emperor penguin sitting on a throne, wistfully looking at birds in flight, for example), introduce readers to Florian’s (Friends and Foes, rev. 9/18; Poem Depot, rev. 7/14, and many more) survey of the polar regions. Here readers will find four selections about the land, sixteen about the animal inhabitants, and one devoted to the threat of climate change to the regions. Wordplay abounds: Antarctica is “an ICE place to visit!” The polar bear “slum-bears when / the year is late / (but doesn’t truly / hi-bear-nate).” “Blue whales eat krill by the millions: / Millions! Billions! Trillions! Krillions!” Informative facts about the regions and animals appear as mini notes below each poem, letting readers know, for example, that a blue whale, Earth’s largest creature, is “as long as an Airbus A319 jet and can weigh up to 200 tons” and that seals can remain underwater for fifteen minutes. Florian’s signature impressionistic illustrations in colored pencils and oil pastels add verve. Appended with a bibliography of adult and children’s books and internet resources.

From the March/April 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Betty Carter
Betty Carter, an independent consultant, is professor emerita of children’s and young adult literature at Texas Woman’s University.

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