No creature is better prepared for the cold than the polar bear. Did you know, for instance, that polar bears stay warm in temperatures of 40 degrees below zero? That's just one of the astonishing facts in Ice Bear: In the Steps of the Polar Bear, written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Gary Blythe. Written in vivid, poetic language interspersed with fascinating facts about these amazing creatures, Ice Bear is a wonderful introduction to polar bears and their habitat. Blythe's evocative oil and pencil illustrations show the bears both as fierce seal hunters and devoted mothers. Mother Polar Bear, in her winter snow den, tends her newborn cubs. She lifts their tiny bodies in her great paws and suckles them. The book includes a short author's note with information about how global warming may affect polar bears, as well as an index.

Deborah Hopkinson's new picture book, Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building, will be published in February 2006.

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