And this is another 3Rs post! This time using one I wrote years ago about the polar bear and including a recent Cybils Awards read about a lesser known and more endangered bear called the Gobi bear. Are these wonderful species disappearing? I sincerely hope not.
Based on the fieldwork scientists and researchers are doing, there is a glimmer of light in the future for these and at least a few other endangered species. And I do hope we can do more to save them.
It is critical not only because we need to save any specific species, but also because we never know how any one species disappearing can impact the ecosystem as a whole. You can check out another recent featured read – If You Take Away the Otter – for more on that.
It is International Polar Bear Day 2021 on February 27, and World Bear Day a month later on March 23rd. So what better time to feature these two books than the current one? Check out the linked websites for activities and suggestions on how each of us can help these great creatures.
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Species Disappearing? Hope Not?
Great Polar Bear
This book review is my blast from the past (and slightly edited – formatting, typos, and such).
Title: Great Polar Bear
Author/Illustrator: Carolyn Lesser
Length: 32 pages
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/Conservation (Ages 7 to 11)
Publisher: Seagrass Press (April 3rd 2018) (Note that the edition I originally reviewed was an earlier edition)
Journey into the magnificent and mysterious world of the far north in Great Polar Bear, Carolyn Lesser’s poetic and scientifically accurate story about a year in the life of a polar bear.
What I loved
Loved the style of the illustrations – the paper-art is unique, interesting, and makes for dramatic 3-d effects. The book introduces the reader to the polar bear, gives the reader a lot of information by taking the reader on a journey through an year in the life of a polar bear. The author’s notes highlight the global warming and impact of the same on the biomes of various species that are now endangered or threatened due to their disappearing ecosystems
What could have been better
Ages 4 – 7 is what is mentioned in the information about the book from the publishers on Edelweiss and though the illustrations definitely will appeal to younger audiences, it is slightly more wordy than usual for this age-range. Adults will most likely need to read (as with most books for this age group) and explain the text; as many words do need some explaining. Therefore this can even work for a slightly older age group – 7 – 9 years (perhaps).
Issues dealt with – global warming/endangered species – are mentioned in the author’s notes at the end of the book but would have had more effect/impact with the intended audience if it was part of the story – in words and art.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Edelweiss and to the publishers for sending me a digital review copy of the book. I was not compensated for my reviews. My thoughts were in no way influenced by the author or publicist. They are my personal opinions formed when I read these books.
Get It Here
The Great Bear Rescue: Saving the Gobi Bears
I read this book during the Cybils Awards nonfiction readathon as a round 1 judge towards the end of 2020. And discovering all these wonderful books was certainly one of the positive aspects of that year.
Title: The Great Bear Rescue: Saving the Gobi Bears (Sandra Markle’s Science Discoveries)
Author: Sandra Markle
Length: 40 pages
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/Conservation (9 – 12 years)
Publisher: Millbrook Press (September 2020)
Source: e-copy from publishers for Cybils Awards reading as a round 1 judge
Acclaimed science author Sandra Markle offers a fascinating look at Gobi bears–the rarest bears on the planet. These adorable animals face threats ranging from illegal gold miners to climate change. Find out more about these bears, which are considered a national treasure in Mongolia, and learn what scientists are doing to help this critically endangered species.
I truly learned a lot from this book. I faintly recall reading about the Gobi desert and the Gobi bear as well in my middle school years. This book reminded me of those geography lessons and while it brought back fond memories, I also realized that I did not recall seeing it on any endangered lists then. And while the Gobi bear was already considered a rare species at the time, the book helped me understand more about how animals are classified as rare, endangered, and so on.
What I Loved
The 40 pages size is deceptive indeed; for the book packs a ton of accessible and clear information that is perfectly organized, and totally illuminating. There are lots of visuals (photographs and maps) that enhance the reading experience.
Sandra Markle’s excellent narrative along with the well-laced photographs lend that required sense of importance and urgency to the mission behind this book; that of rescuing the Gobi bear. It is heartening to read about the combined efforts of scientists, researchers, government agencies, non-profits, and local communities towards this goal.
The exhaustive backmatter includes an author’s note, a timeline, glossary, as well as further resources for curious readers.
A book that is perfect for home and classroom libraries; and to learn about conservation efforts anywhere in the world.
Get It Here
Beary Related Reads
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, have you read these or other similar books? I would love to hear your recommendations of other books and thoughts on these (if you have read them)