Polar Bears and Penguins: A Compare and Contrast Book
By: Katharine Hall
Publisher: Arbordale Publishing
Publication Date: February 2014
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 6, 2014
It would seem very strange to compare a polar bear with a penguin, but you’d be surprised at how much there is to learn by comparing and contrasting them. For example, they both live in polar climates, but they are at opposite ends of the Earth. The polar bear lives in the “Arctic in the Northern Hemisphere ... but penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere.” They literally live in very cool climates! One fun fact to think about is that the Arctic, where the polar bear lives, is “surrounded by continents.” The penguin lives in Antarctica, a “continent surrounded by oceans.” If you think about it, and look closely, these are two very interesting animals to look at and compare.
Check out that awesome looking polar bear and then take a look at that rockhopper penguin. The bear is covered with fur and the penguin with feathers. The polar bear is a bear. No surprise there, but can you name some other types? Perhaps you’ve seen a picture of a grizzly bear, but you’ll also get to take a look at a black bear, giant panda bear, sloth bear, and a sun bear. There are many different types of penguins to check out including the African penguin, emperor penguin, Adelie penguin, the rockhopper penguin, the little penguin, and the yellow-eyed penguin. You’ll also learn many other interesting facts about the polar bear and the penguin, things you may not have even thought about!
This is a fun compare and contrast book about the polar bear and penguin children will be fascinated by. The layout is very vibrant with full-color, full-page photographs that often span two pages. When discussing the basic geographic locale there is a globe on the lower right hand corner of the two-page spread with an arrow pointing to the area. Additionally there are global inserts that look at the Arctic environs as well as the Antarctic one.
Newly independent readers can tackle this beginning nonfiction book with a bit of assistance with unusual words such as “hemisphere” or “rockhopper.” In the back of the book is an interesting comparative look at “A Year at the Poles” and several activities, including some that can be downloaded and printed from the publisher’s website. This would be an excellent book to read and discuss in the homeschool or classroom setting.
Quill says: If you have young, curious animal lovers they are sure to enjoy looking at and comparing the polar bear and the penguin!