Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Polar Animals by Susan Hayes and Tory Gordon-Harris

I just love polar bears and penguins so when I saw this book about them, I just knew I had to tell everyone else about it.

Polar Animals by Susan Hayes and Tory Gordon-Harris is part of the Scholastic Discover More series, so you know it is chock full of information about polar animals, all beautifully photographed.

Readers are introduced to the cold at the North and South Poles, as well as how each of the different animals are able to keep relatively warm in those sub-0 temperatures.  And they will even find out why the poles are so cold and what the four seasons are like there.  There's even a Hall of Fame of record setting animals (as they say - extreme temperatures can result in animals going to extremes).

Following general information about the poles, the animals living at each is looked at individually.  And there is all kinds of interesting facts about all of them.  For example, did you know that a polar bear uses snow to dry off after a nice cold swim?  Or that an Arctic Hare's black eyelashes protects his eyes from the sun just like sunglasses protect our eyes? I didn't even know there were hares at the Artic.  And that in the Southern Ocean at the South Pole there are sponges that are over 1,000 years old?  These are just some of the interesting facts waiting for eager readers to discover.

At the end of the book, there is information about the dangers these polar animals face, mostly because of melting ice, oil spills, litter, pollutions and too much fishing, but there are also suggestions about how each of us can help.  And for budding scientists and other curious readers, there is an informative interview with a real Antarctic scientist, followed by Glossary of terms used throughout the book.

One of the nice things about these Discover More books is that Scholastic always includes a link to a free digital  book about another aspect of each topic.   Polar Animals has a free digital book on Polar Explorers that can be easily downloaded.  Not only is there information and interesting facts about the different explorers, including the youngest, a teenage Antarctic trekker named Lewis Clark, but there are maps of the different routes taken, how to dress for such cold weather and, one of my personal favorites, puzzles that require knowledge to move on.

This is an excellent beginning book for children developing an interest in the world around them, or as a resource in the classroom or home schooling library.

This book is recommended for readers age 8+
This book was obtained from the publisher

This is book 7 of my 2014 Nonfiction Picture Book Reading Challenge hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy


  1. This series looks interesting and I love the "more" aspect of it. Parents love it when they get more bang for their buck!

  2. Looks like a neat book! Just watched a documentary on trekking to the North Pole, so I may have to check this one out.

  3. This looks good, and thanks for sharing the 'extras' that come with these books.

  4. I really like these Discover More titles but especially appreciate what you have highlighted here - the details about environmental and habitat destruction that adds to the vulnerability of these animals. Great post!

  5. Just a little old for my granddaughters at the moment but I will file the info for a later date.


Imagination Designs