cover image Nanuk: 2lord of the Ice

Nanuk: 2lord of the Ice

Brian J. Heinz. Dial Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-2194-4

Heinz (The Wolves) and Manchess (To Capture the Wind) team up to track a day in the life of a polar bear. Artfully weaving in facts (""In silent grace, nine feet of bear rose upward and balanced motionless""), Heinz allows his readers to absorb information effortlessly as they follow his smashing tale. Hunter becomes hunted when Nanuk the polar bear, scouting for prey, in turn becomes the quarry of an Inuk boy who tracks him with harpoon and sled dogs. The alternating story lines shift like quick-cut camera work, urging the story toward the climactic face-off between bear, boy and dogs. Heinz's keen appreciation for the wild lights up his highly descriptive prose, and his enthusiasm and expertise are equaled by those of Manchess. The artist's magnificent oil paintings are sculpted as if from ice and light, highlighting the drama and dangerous beauty of the region. His illustrations cut to the heart of the tale, vividly conveying the struggle for survival in all its passion. In these pages readers can virtually hear the hiss of sled runners and thunder of paws on snow as the dogs race toward their destination, and feel the splash of frigid seawater as the bear plunges in after his prey. A gripping, edge-of-the-seat ride. Ages 5-9. (Oct.)