Bessie and a polar bear cub named Snow Bear play on the ice, while her older brother and the mother bear watch to make sure that everyone is safe.
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Minor and George (Morning, Noon, and Night) team up again, this time to produce a sort of Arctic Blueberries for Sal. When a small Eskimo girl explores a huge block of ice, she befriends a polar bear cub who has wandered away from his mother. With virtually identical reactions, the girl's older brother and the polar bear mother watch the youngsters cavort: "Up on the ice ship Vincent watches Bessie playing with Snow Bear. Little cubs are friendly. Up on the ice ship, Nanuq watches Snow Bear playing with Bessie. Children are friendly." When a dangerous male polar bear appears, they all run for safety. Set against exquisite ice-blue landscapes, Minor's tableaux are filled with drama and humor: winsome Bessie and stuffed-animal-cute Snow Bear turn somersaults, dance together and cuddle in a snow cave. But even with the glorious paintings and the very appealing premise, the story doesn't entirely succeedAthe context isn't clear enough. Is it fantasy or true to life that a child can safely receive a kiss on the nose from a polar bear cub? Or that a child and cub can mimic each other's movements so closely? Minor and George blur the line between observation and personification of the bear characters. Sometimes, too, the text sounds artificial in its overlay of Eskimo wisdom, as when Vincent recalls his father's advice ("The Arctic cannot be rushed. If we wait, the answers will come"). Kids may enjoy imagining themselves in Bessie's place, but the book seems to be setting up a scenario rather than delivering a full-fledged story. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PLB 0-7868-2398-4 In this sweetly sentimental story set in the frozen twilight of an Arctic spring, George (Morning, Noon, and Night, p. 699, etc.) tells of an Inuit girl who goes out to hunt. Bessie Nivyek sets out with her big brother, Vincent, to hunt for food; in a twist out of McCloskey's Blueberries for Sal, Bessie bumps into a young bear, and they frolic: climbing, sliding, somersaulting, and cuddling. Vincent spies the tracks of his little sister and follows, wary of the mother bear; the mother bear is just as wary of Vincent. Out of the water rears danger to both the child and cuba huge male polar bear. The mother bear warns her cub; it runs away, as does Bessie. Brother and sister head back home, ``to eat, go to school, and learn the wisdom of the Arctic like Eskimo children do.'' The brief text is lyrical and the illustrations are striking, with an impressively varied palette of white, in blue, green, yellow, and gold. Children who note that Vincent goes home empty-handed will wonder why he didn't hunt any of the polar bears that were within range. While children will enjoy this romantic view of Bessie and the bear, those seeking a more realistic representation of life in this harsh environment will be unsatisfied. (Picture book. 5-8) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Book Description Hyperion, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110786804564
Book Description Hyperion, 1900. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0786804564
Book Description Hyperion, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0786804564
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97807868045661.0