The Last Polar Bear – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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This is my last picture book in the series of books I wanted to suggest as part of your Earth Day celebrations next Wednesday.

polTitle: The Last Polar Bear

Written by: Jean Craighead George

Illustrated by: Wendell Minor

Published by: Harper, 2009

Themes/Topics: polar bears, arctic, global warming,

Suitable for ages: 5-7



Tigluk glanced out of the window.                                                                                             A polar bear was not very far away.


The Last Polar Bear is a poignant tale about a young Inuit boy called Tigluk, who paddles out into the arctic in a sealskin kayak with his grandmother. Among the small ice floats they encounter a polar bear cub whose mother has died. Desperate to save one of the last polar bears in the rapidly changing Arctic environment, they bring the cub back to their town so they can teach it survival skills in our rapidly changing world.

Why I like This Book:

This fictional story pairs perfectly with Why Are The Ice Caps Melting? the nonfiction picture book I reviewed on April, 3rd. It is a simple environmental story about the effects of global warming in the arctic, for the preschool through kindergarten.

Jean Craighead George and Wendell Minor worked together often to present masterful and moving natural picture books. This story has factual details of the effects of global warming in the arctic naturally interspersed in the dialogue between grandmother and grandson.

Wendell’s paintings are evocative and realistic, giving as much voice as the text to the call of the arctic polar bears and other wildlife for man to help conserve their habitat.



To find out more about polar bears, visit

Another great picture book about bears in general is Wild About Bears by Jeannie Brett.

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

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6 Responses to The Last Polar Bear – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Wendell and Jean have made a marvelous contribution to teaching appreciation for the natural world!

  2. Another great pick for Earth Day. The story tugs at the heartstrings. The illustrations are stunning. Have enjoyed the books you have shared in the past few weeks. Polar bears are really in trouble. I was in Alaska in 2002 and I can’t get over the changes to the glaciers since I was there.

  3. This sounds like a great choice for me to study during my upcoming picture book design workshop. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. Joanne Sher says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous illustrations, and what sounds like a poignant, important tale. Thanks so much for sharing, Joanne.

  5. This sounds lovely apart from the seal skin kayak 😉

  6. Pingback: EARTH DAY, 2015 on Miss Marple’s Musings – How will you celebrate? | Miss Marple's Musings

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