From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3–Orphaned polar bears are the darlings of this engaging book that chronicles their growth and development at the San Diego Zoo. Only three months old when they first arrived there, Kalluk and Tatqiq are shown adjusting to their new home in large, full-color photographs. Playful and inquisitive, they explore the new exhibit by sniffing and investigating. Kalluk, the braver of the two, is quick to act, while his sister thinks before responding. As in Little Panda
(S & S, 2001), Ryder provides two lines of text–one for very young children that consists of short exclamatory sentences in large type, and the second for older readers interested in scientific and developmental information, and set in a smaller, italicized font. Valuable for both curriculum support and recreational reading, this book will win the hearts of many children.–Wendy Woodfill, Hennepin County Library, Minnetonka, MN
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K-Gr. 2. Like Ryder's Little Panda
(2004), this photo-essay introduces children to an engaging, true story from the San Diego Zoo (often cumbersomely referred to here as the "World-Famous San Diego Zoo"). The stars are rescued polar bear twins Tatqiq and Kalluk, who progress through the photo-rich pages from needy, quarantined cubs to fully acclimated adults with mastery over their outdoor habitat. The images, all provided by the zoo and most sharply focused and close-up, will elicit coos from readers as they see the cubs taking their first tentative dip in an indoor pool, or emerging brown as grizzlies from a roll in the dirt. However, fact-hoarding youngsters may feel disappointed by a text that favors impressionistic responses to the photos ("Moving outside, white bears look up, gazing at the sky--so big, so blue") and confines more straightforward information to passages printed in tiny, italicized type. This can't replace more thorough nonfiction explorations of these popular beasts, but the immediate view of a poignant zoo drama offers rewarding browsing for animal enthusiasts. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved