Cover image for Snow Bear
Title:
Snow Bear
Author:
George, Jean Craighead, 1919-2012.
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Summary:
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.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
AD 320 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.4 0.5 47306.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.5 1 Quiz: 20222 Guided reading level: K.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780786804566

9780786823987
Format :
Book

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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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On Order

Summary

Summary

When Bessie decides to explore a frozen ice ship one morning, she finds a new playmate -- a baby polar bear. Snow Bear and Bessie are instant friends, but Bessie's brother and Snow Bear's mother are worried. The grown-ups wait and watch the little ones play to be sure nothing happens that will break up the happy pair.With beautifully simple text and lavish wintry paintings, this gentle Arctic picture book will remind readers of the classic Blueberries for Sal and warm the hearts of readers young and old.


Author Notes

Jean Craighead George was born on July 2, 1919 in Washington, D.C. She received degrees in English and science from Pennsylvania State University. She began her career as a reporter for the International News Service. In the 1940s she was a member of the White House press corps for The Washington Post.

During her lifetime, she wrote over 100 novels including My Side of the Mountain, which was a 1960 Newbery Honor Book, On the Far Side of the Mountain, Julie of the Wolves, which won the Newbery Medal, Julie, and Julie's Wolf Pack. She also wrote two guides to cooking with wild foods and an autobiography entitled Journey Inward. In 1991, she became the first winner of the School Library Media Section of the New York Library Association's Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature. She died on May 15, 2012 at the age of 92.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. This arctic encounter between a polar bear cub and an Eskimo child carries echoes of Robert McCloskey's Blueberries for Sal. Young Bessie Nivyek and little Snow Bear meet by chance on an upthrust crag of ice and proceed, under the watchful eyes of mother Nanuq and Bessie's brother, Vincent, to slide and tumble gleefully together. The adventure ends suddenly when a big, dangerous male bear appears; although the scent of Vincent's rifle sends it retreating into the water, the playmates part company to rejoin their respective caregivers. Gorgeously ruffed and decorated, the humans' parkas stand out with eye-catching brilliance against muted, blue-green backgrounds, and although Snow Bear's apparent smile in response to Bessie's grin is an anthropomorphic touch, the evident delight that the pair take in each other's presence creates a special warmth. Pair this with other tales of people and wild creatures displaying parallel behavior, such as Nancy Luenn's Otter Play (1998). --John Peters


Publisher's Weekly Review

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 succeedÄthe 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2 A ship-shaped upthrust of ice entices Bessie to pull on her parka and set off for imaginary voyages. She encounters Snow Bear, a polar bear cub, and they become instant companions, frolicking happily in the Arctic snow. Watched over separately by the cautious mother bear, Nanuq, and Bessie's wary older brother Vincent, the little ones enjoy one another's company until a large male bear appears. His predatory intrusion sends Bessie and Vincent off toward home, and Nanuq and Snow Bear to safety in another direction, while the great ice "ship" slips into the sea. The simple, pleasing text is accompanied by luminous watercolors that faithfully record this charming (if improbable) chance meeting. The pictures are brilliantly colored, detailed even to depicting frosty breaths among the icy blues, frigid greens, and snowy whites, with the two Inuits as rich dark spots in the landscape, in their beautifully decorated fur parkas. While the story calls to mind Robert McCloskey's Blueberries for Sal (Viking, 1948), Bessie and Snow Bear's delightful meeting stands foursquare on its own booted feet (or furry paws). Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.