From School Library Journal
K-Gr 1–Alex the polar bear and Zina the penguin live at opposite ends of the world but are best friends. In a succession of cartoon images, young readers can easily see the numerous ways the two are opposite: e.g., “Alex is BIG and Zina is small. Alex gets up late. Zina rises early. Alex is loud. Zina is quiet. Shhh....” Liking sour or sweet, messy or neat, their preferences may be dramatically different, but the two find ways to come together–by phone, mail, or a visit in the middle of the globe. There's no lack of motion and detail in full-page and (spilled-over) framed pencil, charcoal, and watercolor cartoon illustrations. Predictable, but a child-friendly way to explore friendships and differences in individuals, this book might provide an opportunity to introduce youngsters to geography or the actual habitats and activities of animals found at the poles.Mary Elam, Learning Media Services Plano ISD, TX
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This lively picture book stars two pen pals who are polar opposites. Alex, a big polar bear in a Hawaiian shirt, lives in the Arctic, while Zina, a tiny penguin wearing a single strand of pearls, lives in Antarctica. Complementing each other well, the simple text and colorful artwork point out a number of differences between the two animals’ qualities, habits, and preferences, such as “Alex gets up late. / Zina rises early. / Alex likes sour things. / Zina likes sweet things.” Meanwhile, in the colorful illustrations, each character prepares for a journey and takes off, Alex by plane, Zina by boat. They meet at the equator for a Galapagos vacation together. The cheerful pencil, charcoal, and watercolor illustrations brim with energy and engaging details. Nearly every page or double-page spread features another way that the two are different, setting up opportunities for children to guess the opposites. A natural for storytimes or as a lapsit with one. Preschool-Grade 2. --Carolyn Phelan