HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Little Polar Bear
Author and Illustrator: Hans de Beer
Publisher: North-South Books, republished in 1994
ISBN-13: 978-0735822719 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0735822719 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-1558583580 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 1558583580 (Paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-0735810808 (Board book)
ISBN-10: 073581080X (Board book)
Related website: www.northsouth.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 5-8
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
Disclosure: Any books donated for review purposes are in turn donated to a library. No other compensation has been received for the reviews posted on Home School Book Review.
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De Beer, Hans. Little Polar Bear (published in 1987 in Switzerland by NortSud Verlag AG, CH-8005 Zurich, Switzerland; republished in the United States by North-South Books Inc., New York City, NY 10017). Lars is a young polar bear who lives in the Arctic and is out hunting with his father. That night, they make piles of snow to protect themselves from the wind. But during the night, the ice begins to crack and Lars’s piece breaks off. When he wakes up, he is all alone in the middle of the sea, and as the temperature grows warmer, his piece of ice is melting. He manages to climb on top of a floating barrel; then a storm hits, and he keeps drifting until he comes to a tropical island where he meets a hippopotamus named Henry and an eagle named Marcus. They are nice, but Lars wants to go home. How can Henry and Marcus help Lars? And will the little polar bear ever see his father again?
Several years ago we rented for our weekly family video a full-length 2001 animated Warner Brothers movie The Little Polar Bear based on this book written and illustrated by Dutch author Hans de Beer, who was born in 1957. Of course, the film version is a lot different with many more plot features than are contained in the simple children’s picture book, which is a lovely story for youngsters about going different places and experiencing new things but desiring to get back with family. It is well told with bits of subtle humor and detailed pastel illustrations. A board book edition (1999) is available for toddlers, but be forewarned that it is severely abridged, a fact that is not clearly indicated on the back of the book. Other “Little Polar Bear Adventures” by de Beer are Ahoy There, Little Polar Bear; Little Polar Bear Finds a Friend; Little Polar Bear and the Brave Little Hare; Little Polar Bear and the Husky Pup; Little Polar Bear and the Big Balloon; Little Polar Bear and the Reindeer; and Little Polar Bear and the Whales.