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Polar Opposites Hardcover – September 1, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

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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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3rd
  • Lexile Measure: AD170L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Two Lions (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761456856
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761456858
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I teach a preschool aged child and this book is perfect for teaching opposites! I love the fact that it illustrates clearly the differences. Explaining opposites is difficult for a 4 year old to understand but he can point out the differences between the two characters quite easily in this book.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Polar Opposites", by Erik Brooks, was a delight to read with my granddaughter. As described the text is rather simple, however, its wonderful watercolor illustrations complement the text and more than adequately, and very easily, tell the story of "Polar Opposites".

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.
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Format: Hardcover
Another great book for kids by beloved author Erik Brooks. This is a sweet story of friendship and and opposites attraction with some fabulous illustrations to boot. A must-have for every grade school classroom and picture book section of your local bookstore.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Polar Opposites teaches children about all types of opposites. As I read it to my preschool students, they pointed out something different each time. There are the obvious opposites: big vs. tiny; shaggy vs. smooth; getting up late vs. rising early; sweet vs. sour; messy vs. neat. The text lends itself to being read aloud. The reader can really ham it up to the delight of the audience.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Not only north and south opposites but personality opposites. My kids enjoyed it and I liked being able to talk with them about the personality differences and how whether loud or quiet, outgoing or reserved, we are who we are and that's fun too.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book was okay. There's no real story line. It just says things like "polar bear lives in the north. Penguin lives in the south." And the book just continues like that. This would be great for a kid who needs to learn all about opposites, but my son is seven, and already comprehends that concept. I think the target age range for this book is definitely off. It's way too high. I would think by ages 6-8, kids would know and understand opposites, like "warm and cold," or "north and south."

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.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a good book. Well drawn and with a great concept to explain. Five stars, as it's certainly better than most all the new children's book coming out, but only if you consider I must allow 6 big stars to those very few classics that transcend childhood and become part of the fabric of growing up, like Where the Wild Things Are or Are You My Mother? (Beginner Books). It's not that good! But it's good and does open a conversation into what are other opposites?
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is certainly a cute book that I'm sure I'll read with my son several times. The illustrations are beautiful and very well done. Additionally, the concepts of opposites are represented well. It was enjoyable, but it didn't wow me. The story is just okay. But my son, who is 5, seemed to enjoy it enough. He didn't ask to immediately reread it, which he does with a lot of new stories. That, to me, says it didn't hold his attention as well.

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.)
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