Sea Bear by Lindsay Moore (9780062791283)
Told in the voice of a polar bear, this picture book follows her journey along the ice. She has learned to be patient: in her hunting and with the weather. Spring comes breaking the ice into smaller pieces. The bear hunts seals and takes naps with a full belly. With summer, the ice melts even more. Now the sea bear must swim to the shore that she can smell in the distance. She swims for days, accompanied by other sea animals as she swims including whales, narwhals, and walruses. She is caught in a storm but eventually makes it to the beach. During the summer, she grows thin, waiting for the freeze to come. She knows she will teach her own cubs patience too.
Moore manages to tell the story of a wild animal without anthropomorphizing her too much. The use of the bear’s perspective makes the story all the more personal and impactful. The impact of climate change is clearly depicted here, but not mentioned directly as the cause until the author’s note at the end. The writing is dramatic and immediately draws readers into the story where they will learn all about the incredible story of the polar bear’s year.
The illustrations are done in watercolor, graphite, inks, crayon and colored pencil. They are just as intense as the story, showing the amazing journey and depth of water the polar bears swim in. Adding sea creatures to her swim adds to the beauty of the Arctic and shows the scale of the bear in the vast ocean.
Moving and informative, this picture book tells a detailed story of one creature’s patience and resilience. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from library copy.