cover image White Bear, Ice Bear

White Bear, Ice Bear

Joanne Ryder. Morrow Junior Books, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-07174-5

This first entry in a promising new Just for a Day series delves into the world of the white bear. As with her other books, such as Step into the Night and Mockingbird Morning , Ryder tells a highly imaginative story that is scientifically accurate. In this story, a boy is transformed into an ``Ice Bear'' and experiences the beautiful yet brutally cold environment of this creature. Ryder's language is spare and poetic, as she carefully sets out the adaptive characteristics that help the bear in the arctic setting: heavy fur, protective coloration, padded feet, strong claws and a keen sense of smell. Squeamish readers will be relieved to know that the well-paced text stops short of the bear's actually capturing--and devouring--a fur seal for his meal. Rothman's paintings evoke the power of this wild creature, at home in a frosty, blue-green and white arctic landscape, which is only briefly illuminated by a silvery moon and the dancing northern lights. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)