This past week, Bill read us The Ice Bear by Jackie Morris. The illustrations in this book beg to be looked at over and over. Absolutely gorgeous! When Bill showed the first picture there was a collective “Whoa!’ and Hajhare exclaimed, “Now that’s what you call Art!”
This book begins with a mother polar bear and her two cubs. They snuggle close to keep out the icy cold. Then trickster raven steals one cub and leaves him in a bundle of white fur for a hunter to find. When the hunter unwraps the bundle, he and his wife discover a baby boy. They were a childless couple who had longed for a baby and they treasured this child, a gift found in the snow. Raven always kept a close watch from above. At the end of the boy’s seventh year, he was lured away from home by a trail of shining amber in the snow. He thought the amber pieces were fallen stars and followed them until he was lost and alone. He was discovered by a group of polar bears who carried him to the mother bear who had once lost a cub. This boy was her stolen son. The curious idea of the boy/bear appealed to the students and they were hard pressed to think of where this boy should truly belong. A loved little boy with his heart pulled in two directions. In the end, he makes a decision that seems exactly right. Jackie Morris pulled us into this magical Arctic world – what a beautiful journey.
Student reviewers report:
Annie: It was sad when the baby bear got caught by the raven.
Hajhare: I like this book because it is interesting. This book is great! I like it because it is one of those books that are fantasy. I like fantasy books because they always have beautiful pictures.
Josiah: I liked this book and it was kind of an Aboriginal story. It was cool how the polar bear turned to a boy.
Scott: I have a question. How did the bear turn to a human? This book is the best. I love the drawings.