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Summary: Uncle Max needs help! The polar bear population in the Arctic is changing, and not for the better. More bears are coming into town (and end up in bear jail, and there are fewer cubs each year. Riley joins Uncle Max, Aunt Martha, and cousin Alice in Churchill, Canada, to study the polar bears. This is the next title in this eco-adventure series taking Riley all over the world.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 10 to 12
Interest Level: 4 to 9
Reading Level: 5
Age of Child: Started reading with 6-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter LOVES The Adventures of Riley. Even if there are lots of other books to choose from, she heads straight for Riley. She was fascinated by the photographs and illustrations that depicted life in the frozen Tundra. We had lots of questions ... a good sign that she is paying attention.
Adult Reader Reaction: There is always wonderful information to be learned when you travel with Riley, Uncle Max, Aunt Martha, and Alice. The counterbalance of the photographs with illustrations really bring the setting to life. This is a nice complement to the Adventures of Riley: Survival of the Salmon which is set in Alaska.
Pros: This book, like all of the other titles in this series, does an excellent job introducing science to kids. For pre-readers and early readers you can learn basic information; for older kids, there are sidebars, text boxes, and a page filled with extra information.
Borrow or Buy: Buy! The Adventures of Riley series is a set of books that will grow with your children. In preschool they'll like the stories, in elementary and middle school the material complements what they are learning in school, and they will want this information as a lead for preparing reports.
Educational Themes: Polar Bear Puzzle explores science on several layers (biology, environment, etc.) and geography, and overlays them with information that is relevant to kids' daily lives. Conservation, preservation, and (possible) extinction are all themes that can be drawn out from this story.
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