Where Do Polar Bears Live?

Written by Sarah L. Thomson
Illustrated by Jason Chin

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A polar bear scientist leads readers on a search for these great white Arctic animals in this engaging and informative book. Beginning with a polar bear cub, this book follows the story of his development and life. Facts such as diet, hunting, and growth are explained in bite-size facts just right for the comprehension level of a second-grade student. Comparisons give students vivid examples of a polar bear’s size, such as saying a polar bear’s head would touch the ceiling of your living room if he stood up, and that his footprints are wider than a dinner plate.


Although this book is about polar bears, as the title indicates it is also about their Arctic habitat and how that habitat is disappearing. The book focuses on global warming without ever using the term, but the text and illustrations make it clear what is happening in the Arctic and how these changes threaten the polar bear’s very existence. The back of the book includes a deeper discussion of why the world is getting warmer, along with suggestions for things the readers can do to help slow down global warming.

Where Do Polar Bears Live? is an excellent introduction to the topic of global warming and how it is affecting our planet. Because the text discusses the impact on a particular animal, it makes the topic relevant to young readers and shows them the real-world consequences of a changing climate. The cheerful illustrations clearly describe the information in the text but have a friendly quality that will certainly appeal to second-grade readers. I highly recommend Where Do Polar Bears Live? as an addition to classroom reading lists on the environment.

See also: 2013 Polar Bear Calendar by National Geographic photographer Norbert Rosing.

  • Polar BearsTitle: Where Do Polar Bears Live?
  • Author: Sarah L. Thomson
  • Illustrator: Jason Chin
  • Reviewer: Joanne Mattern
  • Publisher: Collins, am imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2010, 32 pages
  • ISBN 978-0-06-157517-4
  • Genre: Science, Environment

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