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Polar Bears and the Arctic
A Magic Tree House Research Guide
A Nonfiction Companion to Polar Bears Past Bedtime

by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce

      Join Jack and Annie as they accompany sisters Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce, and find the answers to questions about the Arctic. Learn all about the Land of the Midnight Sun, and why the sun shines 24 hours a day for two months in the summer, and then in the winter it doesn't shine at all for two months. You can learn about permafrost and the ice cap over the North Pole, and all about the many kinds of animals and people who live there, including a lot about polar bears.

The book calls for banding together to save the polar bear from extinction and discusses the effects of global warming and over-hunting of the great bears. This is definitely a book that is slanted toward environmentalist causes. Like most books for children about the Arctic, it talks about the historical tents, sod houses and igloos, and then includes a short article to bring the kids up to speed on the way modern Alaska Natives live. There is a nice section about the Iditarod dog sled race and four time winner, Susan Butcher.

This is a comprehensive overview of the Arctic, with lots of illustrations and even maps. Osborne and Boyce have included a section on suggestions to do further research on the Arctic, and a complete index in the back of the book. Kids will love the articles about the exotic animals that are only found in the far north and presented in a very readable text. It's a "must have" for elementary libraries, home schooling, and for your child's library.

The Book

Random House
September 25, 2007
Trade Paperback
0-375-83222-X / 978-0-375-83222-2
Children / Nonfiction / Ages 7-10
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The Reviewer

Beverly J. Rowe
Reviewed 2007
© 2007