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On Top of the World


Debbie Glade reviews today’s title.

With the recent news that there is a decline in the production of science books for children and that climate change is threatening polar bears and other cold weather animals, I was so happy to read the big, beautiful book, North: The Amazing Story of Arctic Migration  ($16.99, Candlewick Press, ages 7 and up) by Nick Dowson. This essential book takes readers on a migrating journey over thousands of miles with a variety of animals – polar bears, grey whales, terns, geese, caribou and various types of whales. The book is written with such eloquent and clever prose, your child will be magically swept into the story . . . “Here in the winter, the sun sinks away, blizzards fill the darkness and even the seas freeze deep.” We learn how the animals migrate – whether on foot, by sea or by air – and what they eat, how they live and the challenges they face to survive. In the back of the book is factual information about the Arctic and a useful glossary of terms. The author is a teacher and a naturalist, and he certainly has a gift for getting children interested in animal migration just by the way he puts his words together.

Award winning illustrator, Patrick Benson captures the essence of Arctic wilderness with great splendor, making this an even more exceptional animal adventure for children and their parents alike.  The somewhat smoky pictures evoke the moisture and the darkness of the far, far north. Mr. Benson, who illustrated Roald Dahl’s, The Minpins, is an animal lover himself, as he lives on a 26-acre farm in rural Scotland.

I was not surprised to discover that Candlewick Press published this book. It is well written, educational, beautiful and sturdy – a perfect addition to any child’s library. I highly recommend it.

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