Ice Bears at Ice Edge

Abrams. Oct. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781419760709.
Gr 1-4–“The land of the ice bears stretches far in all directions. White snow. White ice. White bears.” Thus begins a story of a polar bear and her cub who find themselves drifting off to sea on an ice floe as they hunt for food. When the cub tumbles off the floe into the sea, his mother jumps in to save him and begins an arduous swim back to shore as their strength wanes. After reaching shore and cuddling, the mother and cub return to their den as “the ice cannot be trusted,” and they must wait another day to hunt. Gorgeous spreads of color sketches in soft blues, yellows, oranges, browns, and white emphasize the spare Arctic surroundings but convey the energy of the cub and the desperation of the mother as she struggles for their survival. The text is lyrical and moving. Some phrases are in big, bold font and all caps, which works to convey the alarm of the moment. Back matter includes facts on the bears, climate change, and both an author’s note and artist’s note.
VERDICT The polar bears’ fight for survival is dramatic and touching, and indirectly highlights with the impact of the climate change on wildlife. First purchase.

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