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Waiting for Ice

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  55 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Based on a true story, WAITING FOR ICE follows an orphaned polar bear cub as she struggles to find food on Wrangel Island, far north in the Arctic Ocean. Left alone at ten months old, the young female finds herself up against other bears who are bigger and stronger than she is—and just as hungry. Due to rising temperatures, the bears are trapped on the island until the ice ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Charlesbridge (first published January 1st 2012)
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Cori Cook
Oct 31, 2015 Cori Cook rated it it was amazing
Waiting for Ice is a story of survival. The story is based on a true story about an orphaned polar bear cub that was observed by Dr. Nikita Ovsyanikov on Wrangel Island. A polar bear cub is orphaned from her mother and has to find ways to survive on her own. It is very difficult for polar bear cubs to survive without the care and protection of their mothers. The young cub is not welcomed by the other mothers and their cubs and must learn to survive on her own. She has to protect herself from the ...more
Natalia Leston
Jun 29, 2015 Natalia Leston rated it it was amazing
While the topic of Global Warming and caring for our environment may be difficult for young children to grasp and connect to, Waiting For Ice is effective in touching the hearts of young learners, and giving them insight into the effects of small choices we make each day and the effects they have on animals and world beyond our classroom lives. This book follows a young female-orphaned polar bear that finds herself in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, trapped on an island due to the lack of ice in ...more
Katherine Kim
Jul 31, 2014 Katherine Kim rated it liked it
This book has a lot of facts on the environment of polar bears rather than facts about polar bears themselves; however, it is written as a fictional story about a young polar bear cub finding his way back to his mother so it would be a good read aloud book if the teacher were going over global warming or environmental issues. I wouldn't recommend students using this book to research details on the polar bear, but it does shed light on how polar bears adapt to the environment. Make sure to read t ...more
Laura Salas
Nov 10, 2012 Laura Salas rated it really liked it
Waiting for Ice
by Sandra Markle, illustrated by Alan Marks
(Charlesbridge, 2012)

I'm waiting for snow here in Minnesota, not waiting for ice, but that feeling of "C'mon, winter!" put me in the mood to take this book of my shelf. I'm glad I did!

A ten-month-old polar bear cub is orphaned on Wrangel Island, north of Russia, where many polar bears are waiting for pack ice to come that they spend the winter on. Usually orphaned cubs don't survive, but this one beats the odds.

This narrative is based on
Mary Ann
May 04, 2012 Mary Ann rated it really liked it
An orphaned young polar bear cub has little chance for survival. These cubs usually stay with their mothers for two or three years, learning how to hunt the Arctic waters for seals, beluga whales, and other sea creatures. But this ten month old cub is all alone, lost among many of the polar bears stranded on Wrangel Island. Because of global warming, the drifting ice pack is late returning to this island far north in the Arctic Ocean. Even though polar bears are good swimmers, they depend on blo ...more
Jun 06, 2012 Tasha rated it really liked it
This is the true story of an orphaned polar bear cub who has to survive the wait for the ice to return without the help of her mother, who would normally have cared for her for another year or two. This cub lives on Wrangel Island, far north of Russia in the Arctic Ocean. She lives there with many other polar bears, but she is alone. She has to find dead things on the shore to eat, defend her finds from scavengers, negotiate other food from hunting bears, and manage to survive. Many other cubs d ...more
May 15, 2012 529_Amalia rated it really liked it
Waiting for Ice by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Alan Marks, Charlesbridge, (2012). Waiting for Ice is a true story based on an orphaned polar bear cub, Tuff, a nick name given by researcher Dr. Nikita Ovsyanikov, on Wrangel Island, north of Russia in the Arctic Ocean. Markle begins the story as this orphaned cub, leaps out of the water on to the gravel beach, looks around and does not see its mother. She takes the reader on the journey that starts in early October as the polar bears on Wrang ...more
Jim Erekson
Sep 24, 2013 Jim Erekson rated it liked it
Markle and Marks are a good team for this story, because Marks helps keep the tone very close to the natural. The unforgiving nature of wild animals for most orphaned babies is interesting, and the illustrations aid the text in achieving this heartbreaking tone. The bulk of the story is about surviving on scraps, and how difficult this is--pretty dark material. And Markle does not end the story with the happy ending based Nikita Ovsyanikov's later observations of the cub's survival. Instead she ...more
Aug 25, 2014 Maureen rated it liked it
This book, though fictional, holds real details on polar bear survival because it is based on truth. It would make an interesting read aloud for students studying the Arctic.
Jan 27, 2014 Liz rated it really liked it
Based on a true story of an orphaned polar bear cub. Interesting facts contained in this narrative. Markle's nonfiction writing is always good to share and use in the classroom. Like the illustrations, too.
Beyond the Pages
Aug 03, 2015 Beyond the Pages rated it really liked it
Excellent details and illustrations. Used for a geo art unit.
Allison Loncar
Dec 15, 2013 Allison Loncar added it
Shelves: 544
Genre: Informational Copyright: 2012
This true story is based on a real life polar bear who loses her mom and has to learn at a young age to fend for herself. The book follows the baby polar bear as she tries to find her mom on Wrangle Island. She has to find food while waiting for the ice to freeze and walruses to come. Weeks later, the ice finally freezes and she steps onto a floating ice. The books ends there, but in the back the authors note states what happened to the real polar bear Tuff wh
Jessica Anthony
Oct 13, 2013 Jessica Anthony rated it really liked it
Shelves: ch-02-nsta
This cute story about polar bears living in the arctic is a harsh reality to what is really happening in the arctic every day. This story however tells a tale of a young cub who is orphaned at a very early stage in life. After being orphaned and trying to survive the bear finds it hard to get food because the ice that the bears usually hunt on is late this year due to global warming. This tale that is based on a true story is great for enlightening young children on the harsh realities of cause ...more
Kristen Dota
Oct 14, 2013 Kristen Dota rated it really liked it
Shelves: ch-02-nsta
While reading this book I felt my heart break for the poor baby polar bear. It was abandoned at a young age and trying to find food is almost impossible. The ice begins to melt due to global warming. This book is sad but ends up finding food and being a happy ending. This book is a good to read to children because it teaches from strategies like cause and effect and the importance of handling things on your own. Good book!
Kate Hastings
May 29, 2016 Kate Hastings rated it really liked it
Grades 2-5. Narrative nonfiction describes the struggles of an orphaned polar bear cub. The ice flows are the only way polar bears can hunt seals and other large prey. Instead, they have to subsist on the few fish that wash ashore and some of the nesting birds that fall from the cliffs. Many polar bear cubs starve to death or become prey themselves. (But the cub in this story scrapes through).
Mar 17, 2012 Paula rated it it was ok

Based on the true story of an orphaned cub. Far north in the Arctic Ocean on Wrangel Island, an orphaned polar ear cub struggles to find food. Without a mother to feed her, this young female must fend for herself. Due to rising global temperatures, food is hard to find because the pack ice that the bears rely on for hunting is late in coming."
Oct 05, 2013 Brianna rated it really liked it
A true story of a baby cub lost without her mother. The cub got lost from her mother, and now has to life live on its own. Usually the cubs stay with the mother for two to three years, but since this cub got lost it has to make life on its own. I think its kind of sad because it lost its mom it does not know where its at id be scared and devastated.
Oct 14, 2013 Tori rated it liked it
Shelves: ch-02-nsta
This is about an orphaned polar bear who has to learn to survive on his own. It is rather sad at some parts, but this is a story that I would definitely read to my students. The fact that it is a true story makes it even more interesting. This would be a good book to show children what life is like for some animals.
Oct 10, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing
This book was so cute but also so sad too. The baby bear lost it mommy and could not find her. So the bear when off looking for her. That to me tells me right there that the author wanted to share a family story to every one. This book also I would use in a classroom too.
Apr 07, 2012 Carmen rated it really liked it
Based on a true story, an orphaned cub struggles to survive on Wrangel Island, far north of Russia, as he waits for the ice to return. Beautifully told through prose and pictures. Excellent collaboration and rich details and back matter to leave the reader with more.
Feb 04, 2013 Bethe rated it really liked it
Life is difficult for an orphaned polar bear cub. The watercolor illustrations soften the harsh realities of the young cub. An author's note states that the researcher did observe Tuff, the subject of the book, returning to Wrangel Island the following summer.
Mouse Denehy
Oct 20, 2013 Mouse Denehy rated it really liked it
I didn't like this book as much as I had hoped I would. The story wasn't as interesting as I had hoped but the art was phenomenal. I didn't like how the story just kind of tapered off into a non-ending. Maybe it was above my head but it was kind of unfulfilling.
Rachel S
Oct 20, 2013 Rachel S marked it as to-read
Shelves: ch-02-nsta
I loved reading this. The artwork was beautiful. I felt so bad that the polar bear was on its own when it was only 10 months. I really enjoyed this book. It kinda reminded me how when i was on my own ay school for the first time not knowing what to do.
Patrick Antenucci
Oct 20, 2013 Patrick Antenucci rated it it was ok
Shelves: ch2-nsta, final-topic
Story about an orphaned polar bear battling both starvation and the fragile ice underfoot, the assumption that her home is being weakened by global warming. While I enjoyed the illustrations the story struck me as uninspired.
Nov 25, 2014 Pam rated it really liked it
Based on a true story about a polar bear cub as seen by a researcher of polar bears. In a story format children can learn about how polar bears survive. More information is provided at the end of the book.
Amanda Wilson
Oct 13, 2013 Amanda Wilson rated it it was ok
this book was kinda sad and it didnt end the way i expected. i wanted the little bear to find her mom, but she never did, she just learned how to tough it out. it really tugged my heart
Zara Younus
Grade 4. Hibernation.

Students will be able to experience how the polar bear waits for their time to hibernate. Elaborate by how other animals hibernate.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
I was feeling a bit sad about this story until I read the author's note and realized that it was based on a true story and had a good ending.
Edward Sullivan
Jan 26, 2012 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
A handsomely illustrated, vividly detailed and gripping story about an orphaned polar bear cub struggling to surive.
Laura marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2016
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Sandra Markle is the author of more than two hundred children's books, which have won numerous awards, including Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book, IRA/CBC Children's Choice, NSTA/CBC Outstanding Trade Books for Children, NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended, and ALA Notable Books for Children. She lives in Lakewood Ranch, Florida and frequently travels to schools sharing her program "Sandra Markle's Boo ...more
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