Cover image for The polar bears are hungry
The polar bears are hungry
Carrick, Carol.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, [2002]

Physical Description:
32 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
A mother polar bear takes care of her new cubs, but as temperatures rise, she finds it increasingly difficult to get enough to eat.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.7 0.5 65855.
Added Author:
Electronic Access:
Publisher description
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



In the second collaboration of the mother-and-son team that created Mothers Are Like That, two cubs are born to a polar bear.Mother bear teaches her cubs how to swim and hunt seals.But when the ice melts earlier than usual-the result of a changing climate-there is not enough food to keep her milk rich or to feed her cubs.Emboldened by hunger, the bears venture into human territory, where they are captured and caged in a special jail for bears until winter returns and the ice forms once more.Then the bears are released to hunt again on the shifting floes of the Arctic.This lyrical story of a mother and her babies is beautifully illustrated and based on fact.It includes a detailed afterword on the effects of global warming on polar bears.

Author Notes

Carol Carrick was born in Plainfield, New Jersey on May 20, 1935. She received a degree in advertising art from Hofstra University in 1957. After college, she worked as a layout and mechanical artist at several New York advertising agencies and at Coronet magazine. Her first book, The Old Barn, was published in 1966 and was primarily a vehicle for her husband Donald F. Carrick's illustrations. They collaborated on 37 books before his death in 1989 including Sleep Out, Ben and the Porcupine, Two Very Little Sisters, and Stay Away from Simon. She wrote nine more books after that including Mothers Are Like That and The Polar Bears Are Hungry, which were illustrated by her son Paul. She died due to complications from a stroke on June 6, 2013 at the age of 78.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS^-Gr. 2. Deep in the Arctic winter, under a snowbank, a mother polar bear warms her two newborn cubs. Months later, mother bear needs food, and a search that will encompass the seasons starts. First, the bears journey to the sea for seal meat. In spring, they ride ice floes on the same quest. Mother bear teaches the cubs how to hunt seals, flattening herself on the ice, scrambling forward, and making surprise attacks. Summer is the harshest time of the year, forcing the bears to break into a village for food. The emphasis throughout is on hunger, how it dictates the bears' movements and puts them in conflict with humans. However, no violence is depicted, and the break-in is resolved humanely, with the bears being temporarily confined and released back into their habitat. Acrylic paints portray the vibrant colors of the Arctic as the story takes readers from snowbank to sea to land. An intriguing slice of polar life. --Connie Fletcher

Publisher's Weekly Review

A mother bear emerges from her den with two new cubs by her side in The Polar Bears Are Hungry by Carol Carrick, illus. by her son, Paul Carrick. Dramatic acrylics, such as one of the threesome against an Arctic sunset in lavender and tangerine, accompany a straightforward presentation of the facts (e.g., "Mother Bear is hungry. She hasn't eaten for months"). An author's note elucidates the details and explains the effect of global warming on the animal's way of life. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-In the spring, a polar bear emerges from hibernation and hunts for seal. As the weather warms, she has difficulty finding food for her two cubs and ends up scavenging in a village. Carrick presents the facts of the story in simple, realistic terms. Tension builds as the bears are captured and detained by wildlife officers but, unfortunately, a visual jump in the story line at the height of conflict may have readers checking to be sure they didn't miss a page. Small technical blip aside, the concept of this book is important and timely, and the author's deliberately spare, graceful text is excellent, as are Paul Carrick's acrylic paint renderings. In several breathtaking scenes, the illustrator outlines his subjects in luminous electric blue, capturing the waning northern sun reflecting the cool water and sky in the whiteness of landscape and animal. The answer to the title's intrinsic question (Why are the polar bears hungry?) is provided in the author's note at the end of the story where readers learn of the effects of global warming and other undue human interferences on the lives, and ultimately the future, of the polar-bear population. An excellent discussion starter.-Carol L. MacKay, Camrose Public Library, Alberta, Canada (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.