Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Polar Bear, Arctic Hare: Poems of the Frozen North

Polar Bear, Arctic Hare: Poems of the Frozen North

Eileen Spinelli
Illustrator:  Eugenie Fernandes 
Poetry Picture Book
For ages 4 to 8
Boyds Mills Press, 2007   ISBN: 978-1590783443

When polar bear cubs come out their den in the spring,there are so many things to look at and so many places to explore. There are Arctic bumblebees to sniff at and hopefully not get stung by. There are Arctic terns to watch as they wheel "wings unfurled" and "chasing summer" in the blue skies above. As the summer advances, the sun "plays the part of the moon" refusing to go to bed at night and shining gently on the blooming yellow arctic poppies.

Though this is clearly a place of extremes, all kinds of animals call the arctic their home. There are herds of "thrumming and drumming" caribou racing across the tundra. Tiny lemmings hide in the snow as large smiling beluga whales slide beneath the ice.

Using a variety of poetic forms Eileen Spinelli beautifully captures in words the splendor and variety of life that can be found in the "frozen north." Readers will find themselves smiling at some of the poems with their lively and colorful rhymes. Some of the  more thought-provoking poems will capture the imagination, and readers may begin to wonder what it would be like to see a summer Arctic sun, or what it would be like to listen to a choir of wolves howling at an Arctic moon.