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In 1999, 53 percent of children ages 3 to 5 were read to daily by a family member, the same as in 1993 after increasin... More

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NANUQ: A BABY POLAR BEAR'S STORY (My Animal Family Series)

Author: Kathleen Duey

Illustrator: Lara Gurin

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Smart Kids Publishing, Inc., ©2008

Material: hard cover

Summary: Nanuq is a young polar bear who, along with her brother, is learning how to survive by watching and helping her mother. Her brother is a bit of a goof-off, but finally learns his lesson about taking life seriously and not playing all the time. You follow the polar bears’ trek to find food, water, and rest. DVD that comes with shows footage of polar bears. This picture book series introduces kids to animal families. It comes with a story CD

Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, read aloud book, learning to read, remedial reader

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 6; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 2.8

Age of Child: Read with boys 3 and 5 years old.

Young Reader Reaction: My 3 year old loved this book about polar bears, although I had to paraphrase some of the text to shorten it to meet his attention span. My 5 year old liked it, too, and we enjoyed having discussions about the young bears’ behavior. They both wanted to read the book again, but my 3-year-old especially liked the book.

Adult Reader Reaction: I liked the lesson learned in the book. I liked that it was mostly based on the true behavior of the animals, and that it left out the gory details of hunting and eating, leaving me to fill in the gaps if I felt it appropriate. I did not watch the DVD much, although it was cool to see the footage some.

Pros: This book is filled with great information about polar bears, but it also has a good lesson about life, too.

Cons: This has lots of text for a 2- or 3-year-old, but is great for kids ages 4 and up.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a great book to borrow from the library, then return and get the next animal book in the Animal Family series.


Educational Themes: There is lots of factual information about polar bears: habitat, enemies, hunting, searching for water, cub rearing, walruses, seals. There are also nice lessons about life that kids can get: listening to your mother and taking taking life seriously when survival is on the line.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 2.8

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal stories, nature

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2010

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