Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Polar Bear Island by Lindsay Bonilla and Cinta Villalobos
There's a sign on Polar Bear Island that says "Welcome to Polar Bear Island. No Others Allowed". It's for polar bears only and Parker, the bear who seems to be in charge, is determined to enforce the law. But, then Kirby shows up. Kirby is a penguin who has arrived on Polar Bear Island on an ice floe after a long journey. She just wants a little rest, so Parker allows her to stay the night.
Kirby opened her suitcase.
Some curious polar bears peeked out of their dens.
"What are you doing?" they asked.
"I'm looking for my flipper slippers," said Kirby. "They keep your flippers and feet warm. Plus they're reversible! With one side you can skate on ice. With the other side you can wade through snow."
Flipper slippers are a huge hit. All the bears want something similar for their paws. They can slide around on ice and keep their paws warm! Parker is just irritated. He wants Kirby to leave. But, the bears need Kirby to stick around and help them make more flipper slippers, so Parker gives Kirby a week. Eventually, Parker will accept Kirby as a contributing member of Polar Bear Island society. In the meantime, Kirby writes home to tell her family about her adventures.
And, then her family shows up. They bring sled beds, snowcone makers, and the idea of snow chutes for sliding. Parker is annoyed, naturally, until he hurts a paw and everyone chips in to build a snow chute, feed him some snow cones, and push him home on a newly-built snow chute with flipper slippers on his paws. When he's completely healed, Parker has made a decision. Everyone is welcome on Polar Bear Island.
Highly recommended - Polar Bear Island is a cheery, sweet story of a grumpy old bear accepting change and deciding inclusiveness is beneficial to all. I love a good story about accepting outsiders into your little circle and Polar Bear Island does so in an adorable way, with inventiveness, delightful characters and bright, lively illustrations.
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