Little Polar Bear Rescue by Lauren Delahaye. Tiger Tales, 2021. 9781680104981
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3
Genre: Animal adventure fiction
What did you like about the book? Callie is an animal lover and aspiring veterinarian who is magically transported to distant lands to help a baby animal in trouble. During a hide-and-seek game on a camping trip with her Forest Club troop, Callie ends up in the Arctic Circle trying to reunite a rambunctious polar bear cub with his mother. Callie has to practice all her survival skills, and call upon her vast knowledge about a variety of animals, as she and her cuddly charge contend with the extreme cold, along with hungry wolves, angry walruses, and stampeding caribou. As they search for the mother bear, Callie witnesses the impact of climate change on the region, especially on the polar bear population.
This is the fifth book in the Little Animal Rescue series, and Callie’s character is developing apace. She knows from the outset that she is there to make a rescue, and she utilizes prior knowledge from her penguin adventure to figure out how to traverse the icy terrain. Young readers will empathize with Callie’s inner dialogue (and will likely envy her interaction with the adorable cub). The audience is introduced to some challenging subject matter regarding the food web of the Arctic Circle, and tough vocabulary to go along with it, but short chapters and cute black and white illustrations make it manageable.
Anything you did not like about the book? As with the previous books in the series, I think readers would really appreciate some background information on the region and the animals in the book. A lot of facts are embedded in the story, but having a reference page in the back would be quite useful, as well as books and websites for further reading. The author is obviously passionate and dedicated to animal welfare, and it is a little surprising that she doesn’t provide her audience with more resources.
To whom would you recommend this book? Children who have read the previous books in the series will enjoy this one too; it’s a good fit for 2nd and 3rd grade readers who like animal rescue stories, adventure, and the Magic Tree House.
Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Leigh Russell King, Lincoln Street School, Northborough, Massachusetts.
Date of review: December 3, 2021