Buy Used
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Like New | Details
Sold by Global Nomad
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime shipping with 24/7 customer service, package tracking, and 100% satisfaction guaranteed!!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Polar the Titanic Bear Hardcover – September 1, 1994

See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover, September 1, 1994
$3.75 $0.01

Frequently Bought Together

Polar the Titanic Bear + National Geographic Readers: Titanic
Buy the selected items together


Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers; Library Binding edition (September 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316806250
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316806251
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 10.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,301,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Imagine the excitement of rooting around in an old attic and discovering the letters, diaries, and photo albums of a relative. What if that memorabilia opened a window on the sinking of the Titanic, the most famous sea disaster of all time? That's exactly what happened to Leighton H. Coleman III. Exploring the attic of his relative Daisy Corning Stone Spedden, he found many personal treasures, including a charming book Daisy had written for her 8-year-old son, Douglas, in 1913. This story, combined with award-winning artist Laurie McGaw's gorgeous watercolor illustrations, actual family photographs, keepsakes, and historic postcards, weaves the fabric of Polar the Titanic Bear, an engaging slice of history for all ages, told through the black glass eyes of an extraordinary toy bear named Polar.

The story begins in the toy workshop where Polar is born, and quickly moves to the point where he is given to "Master," Daisy Spedden's son Douglas. Soon the boy and bear are inseparable! As the wealthy Speddens are world travelers, Polar and his new family sail from New York to Algiers and on to the French Riviera, until it comes time for them to return to America on the Titanic. On the fateful night of the sinking, Polar and the Speddens are lucky enough to be lowered down the side of the luxury liner in a lifeboat, but when the family boards the rescue ship, Polar finds himself left behind! How will Polar make it back to his best friend?

In the epilogue, rich with family photographs, the historical context for the story is fully and engagingly explained, with more details on the Titanic disaster as well as a smattering of toy history. This is a wonderful gift book--the richness and emotion of the story are all the more poignant when enhanced by the Spedden family photographs, their tragic personal story, and the reflection of an era that will never exist again. (All ages ... excellent for reading aloud to ages 6 and older, but perfect for 9- to 12-year-olds, too.) --Karin Snelson

From Publishers Weekly

In a curious but successful hybrid of fact and fiction, an affable stuffed polar bear is the narrator of this true tale written in 1913 by Spedden, an American heiress who traveled extensively with her husband and their son, Douglas. Polar, a character modeled on an actual toy that Douglas received as a Christmas gift, offers a chatty travelogue of the Speddens' visits to such locales as Madeira, Algiers and Paris. The bear's detailed account may prove tedious to the target audience-until midway through the book, when the Speddens and Polar board a new luxury liner called the Titanic. The family survives the disastrous collision with the iceberg (however, according to an epilogue by Leighton H. Coleman III, a descendant of the author, Douglas died in a car accident three years later). Snapshots from the Speddens' photo album and other memorabilia (e.g., a 1910 postcard of the F.A.O. Schwartz toy store, where Polar is purchased; a ticket entitling the bearer to use of the Turkish baths aboard the Titanic) provide intriguing glimpses of a long-gone lifestyle. Also evoking the Edwardian era are McGaw's romantic paintings, equally effective in their portrayal of the drama at sea and the love between a boy and his bear. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

I have read this to the children at our school.
Cathryn C. Henderson
It is really one of the most remarquable and precious books I've ever read !
Anja K.
I agree with the others who explained it very well and gave it 5 stars.
Mrs. B's Point of View

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Eric Paddon on June 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
To me, "Polar, The Titanic Bear" is a precious book because it has so many fascinating dimensions to it. On the one hand, it is a charmingly written children's story about a child's stuffed polar bear and the journeys it takes with it's master around the world, culminating ultimately aboard the Titanic. Second, it is a must have for Titanic scholars as it provides us with insight into the Spedden family that traveled in First Class and survived the disaster by getting into Boat #3. The father, Frederic Spedden, was one of the few First Class male passengers who was so fortunate as so many other men that night died.
But finally, there is the extra poignance that this story takes on because of what it ultimately represents, and that is the love of a mother for her son in writing this book and presenting it to him as a Christmas gift, as Daisy Spedden did for eight year old Douglas. The closing narration of Polar reflects the hopes and wishes all parents have for their children, "I hope he will be blessed with a long and happy life" and then you find out that Douglas, after surviving the Titanic, lost his life just a year later at age nine when he was struck by a car while at his parents summer home. Only the hardest of hard-hearted people could not be moved to tears by learning that. In the end, as we read ultimately of how the Speddens were able to move on from this tragedy in their lives, this helps make "Polar" filled with more insights for adults than the average children's book might have. No Titanic enthusiast can afford to be without this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book has much to offer, for young readers and for adults. It is a wonderful glimpse into history, told from the perspective of a Steiff polar bear, who is very much a part of the life of young Douglas Spedden. His family's travels and his young life unfold in a beautiful text that is illustrated with sensitive illustrations and historical photographs. The Speddens traveled on the ill-fated Titanic. The incredible drama of that event unfolds in the most personal narrative. The magnficent beauty of the ship is conveyed as the family enjoys its commodious luxury. The drama of its sinking is compelling as well as touching in the describtion of the heartbreaking separation of Polar from young Douglas. This is how a young child would remember such an event. Fortunately, Polar is found and reunited with his friend.
The story behind the story is as wondeful as the book itself. Leighton H. Coleman III found this wonderful manuscript in his grandfather's barn. It was written by his cousin, Daisy Spedden. How brilliant of a mother to convert a traumatizing event into a story for her little boy! Her tender insight, the wonder of discovery and the perfect blending of history and narrative--ocean liners, wonderful bears--all of these components make this a perfect children's book that is both educational and entertaining (for parents, too!). I have given scores of copies to my friends with children and to my many adult friends who are fascinated by ocean liners and the Titanic. The book is well-crafted with much to offer.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Leighton H. Coleman III rummaging in the attic is a true "find". Daisy Corning Spedden's story to her son displays for us an era gone by as well as recreating life on the Titanic. In addition to the tragedy of too few lifeboats aboard we are witness to the tragic results of class differences cuttingly displayed by the woman in the lifeboat's remark about how more first class passengers would have been saved if they hadn't given any space to steerage passengers. This perhaps is the true tragedy of the Titanic, the sacrificing of the lives of women and children in steerage to accomodate the first class passengers. Perhaps, it is also a social commentary of the time.
I read this book, as well as naarated a historical background to my daughter's second grade class at the time the book was first published. There was not a dry eye. This was due perhaps more to the understanding of the social differences and their consequences than to the actual sinking.
This is a wonderful book with much potential for teachers of younger grade levels. It will also entertain the adult. Accompanied by wonderful original photographs as well as watercolours, it's a captivating book for both young and old and one that will be worn with use.
Daisy Corning Spedden seemed to have been a remarkable woman and we are indebted to her contribution to history as well as literature. This book is definitely award winning material. In its subtle way it is a powerhouse for discussion.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Having read virtually dozens of books on the RMS Titanic, I figured a children's book on the topic to be entertaining at best, but certainly not informative.

Polar the Titanic Bear was written by Daisy Corning Stone Spedden as a Christmas gift to her son, Douglas. The book chronicles a period of approximately two years in the life of the family's 6 year old son from the point of view of his new teddy bear, Polar.

The story begins with Polar's assembly in one of the finer toy stores in North America. Polar is placed on display in a store and purchased as a Christmas gift for Douglas. The reader is then sent on various journeys throughout the world with the Spedden family, culminating with their voyage on and subsequent rescue from the Titanic.

What makes this book most appealing is the real life glance into the lifestyle of the affluent family prior to the Depression. Because it was written by a mother to her child with no intention to publish, there is no fluff or marketing appeal added. This book is, in effect, a true-life diary of Pre World War I America complete with pictures from the author's own collection.

The book is a touching display of motherly affection for her child. It ends with an epilogue (added for publication) detailing the years following the book's creation. The ending is emotional and sadly tragic.

Though written for children, Polar the Titanic Bear is a touching story for readers of all ages and interests.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews