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Polar Opposites Hardcover – September 1, 2010
Frequently Bought Together
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
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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
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Top Customer Reviews
The book itself has a sturdy binding, reinforced, and nicely sized for children at about 11 1/2 x 9 inches. The colorful book cover is inviting, too, and the pages are easily turned by small fingers.
Opposites is what it's all about, beginning with two friends, a polar bear and a penguin from opposite parts of the globe and goes on to illustrate how very different they are. It's an introduction to geography as well as an indication of how opposite, or different, things can be. We had special fun throughout, and after the reading, with making up opposites for each other. Still a favorite of my granddaughter and a book that will surely be read again and again.
The author really took time to think about the text and even more time to imagine the illustrations for each page spread. Each time you look at the illustrations and contrast the two characters' way of life, you see another not-so-obvious form of opposites. One such illustration page shows Alex, the polar bear, cleaning off with a towel with a mess of soap and shampoo by his feet. In contrast, Zina, the penguin, has a squeegee and neat "Beluga Bubbles" by her feet.
A lot of care went into the illustrations. It is obvious that the illustrator and author were of the same mind - being the same person. So often, children's books are written by one person and illustrated by another, sometimes not even meeting in person.
Also, the lack of an actual story was slightly disappointing. I think the book would have been better with a better story line. The illustrations were well done, though.
The book talks about two friends, a polar bear who lives North and a penguin who lives South, and the many ways they are opposite from each other. The author does a decent job of showing exactly how these friends are opposite but still get along. As I said, it's a cute book and the drawings will certainly be something to look at closely.
If your kid is learning about opposites, or really loves polar bears and penguins, s/he will probably love it. We'll certainly keep it and read it again, but I don't think it'll get as many repeats like "Little Blue Truck" does for us. (Then again - I have 2 boys and they really, really love autos. YMMV.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
LOVE this - especially as I gave it to my 6'4" friend and his 5'1" wife for the new baby.Published 8 days ago by C
My daughter and I read this together and laughed out loud the entire time.
We liked it very much! We recommend.
This is a sweet book dealing with opposites. A beginning reader that teaches that even polar opposites can find a middle ground.Published 5 months ago by Mikki
It is nice for kids and it is good for your kids to learn they oppositesPublished 13 months ago by Althea Butler
Lovely illustrations, great word usage. Met the author at an Author's Night this year, and the story behind this was charming.Published 17 months ago by Robin T
We loved the art,crisp and bright, the characters were cute and drawn in a way, that reflected their personalities. I would number rate this 10+Published 17 months ago by Funky and molly
It's good but so short maybe I'm a fast reader a bit boring and why do I have to read stuff by clicking? 🌟🌟Published 17 months ago by Texas Mom