A polar bear emerges from the snow, only appearing when he lifts his black nose to the air and opens his black eyes. He journeys across the snowy polar landscape. The narrator wonders where he is going. Maybe to visit the white seals also playing in the snow? No, he is not hungry. Maybe he will hide from the snowstorm in a cave? No, his fur protects him. He also won’t meet a man out on the ice, opening his mouth to growl loudly. It turns out, he is heading for the water to swim and play. After that, who knows where he is heading next.
Barnett uses so few words on the page here. His restraint and focus are masterful, keeping the word count low. His questions about what the bear is doing also invite young readers to ask questions about this book and others they read. To have plenty of curiosity and wonder about books and the world around them. The ending too allows for that curiosity to continue after the book is done.
Harris’ illustrations are subtle in their use of white and shades of white. He uses paper collage to create caves, subtle changes of angle and texture, mountains, and more. When blue is introduced as the bear reaches the sea, there is a tranquility from that color, a celebration that the bear enjoys too.
Restrained, gorgeous and full of amazing moments. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Combining detailed instructions, plenty of encouragement and vivid photography, this book invites families and classes to create their own nighttime moth ball. The first steps are understanding moths and then putting together the supplies and tools you will need: including a sheet, rope, UV collecting light, and your own camera and flashlight. Prepare the screen and then also make sure you have a snack, one for the moths of course! Now you have two types of bait: light and nectar. Patience is part of the process, as more moths will come as the night gets later and darker. Take your time, be gentle, and marvel at these creatures that live all around us.
Burns offers such a merry invitation to readers in this book, making it feel like a true celebration of insects that we often take for granted or don’t even think about. Her encouragement to do research is appreciated, dedicating time in her set up of the moth ball to model reading books and learning about the creatures you are going to view. Her instructions are child-centered, creating a process that children can do themselves and participate in directly.
The photographs also center on the children managing the entire process themselves. When night falls, the magic in the photos happens as children carry their own lights, the moths arrive and the real party begins. The images of the moths themselves show their proboscis, furry bodies and amazing wings.
A grand project to immerse children and families into wildlife, insects and spending the night outside. Appropriate for ages 5-9.