Ice! Poems About Polar Life

Holiday House. Dec. 2020. 48p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780823441013.
Gr 1-4–Florian spotlights the animals and geography of the polar regions. Poems about animals, the tundra, krill, and climate change are accompanied by his illustrations. Each poem features a short but detailed paragraph of information. For example, following the poem “Arctic Hare,” readers learn that these animals are “active all year long and do not hibernate.” Florian includes familiar mammals (polar bears and whales), as well as lesser-known animals (the ptarmigan and the wolverine). Each poem uses humorous wordplay. A moose is “un-moose-takable” and blue whales eat krill by the “trillions!” and “krillions!” The delightful illustrations are a highlight. Each poem is complemented by at least two of Florian’s pastel drawings. There are subtle but discernible references to climate change throughout. The final poem, “Climate Change,” captures what is happening in the arctic regions. The descriptive blurb explains that human activity is changing the natural habitat of the polar regions and offers specific suggestions on how to fight climate change. There is a website to visit to learn more. A bibliography is included.
VERDICT This title is a terrific example of poetry and the wonder of the natural world. Although the collection only covers the polar regions, it could be used in the classroom to write poetry, draw, and learn facts about different biomes.

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