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Polar Bear Night
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Polar Bear Night (Polar Bear)

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  312 ratings  ·  66 reviews
A polar bear cub . . . A nighttime journey . . . A bedtime story of love and wonder.

One keen, clear night, a polar bear cub wakes inside her warm den. Something in the moonlit stillness quietly beckons. What is it?

The little cub sets out for the snow and sky and sea and ice, and the moon follows.

So begins a magical journey through a starlit world filled with love and wonde
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Scholastic Press
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Over and Under the Snow by Kate MessnerWaiting for Winter by Sebastian MeschenmoserThe Mitten by Jan BrettOwl Moon by Jane YolenLost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
Picture Books About Snow Animals
28th out of 103 books — 16 voters
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Picture Books About the Night
70th out of 120 books — 11 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 484)
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I am SO not a big fan of cute but this isn't so much CUTE as it is quiet and precise. Gentle declarative sentences, varied phrasing & structure, great vocabulary, wonderful colors.

AND the bear doesn't get lost or ask the mama questions or make a friend or feel scared or lonely or brave. She just goes for a walk in her beautiful world, and goes home again, all by herself.

The more I think about this, the better I like it.

PS. Who else sees the Where's Walrus walrus here? :)

Next day addendum:
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Library Lady
I read this story to groups ranging from very active 2 year olds to my wonderful 3-6 year old story hour group. And they all LOVED it!
This is a QUIET book. And the kids sensed that, even those active 2 year olds. Highly recommended, especially as a bedtime book.
Nancy O'Toole
Polar Bear Night tells a story of a young bear that travels from it's mothers den and explores the world of the arctic at night. Throughout the journey he is followed by the moon, symbolizing safety and protection. After witnesses a star shower, the Polar bear becomes sleepy and returns back where his mother is waiting for him. Polar Bear Night tells a gentle adventure story from the view of a young polar bear. Illustrations are very minimal. Characters and drawn with broad strokes, large and ch ...more
Juliana Lee
A beautifully written and illustrated look at one small polar bear cub as he awakens and travels through the cold night to the top of a mountain. He passes the sleeping seals, whales, and walrus with only the moon for company. Suddenly the light of a star shower wakes the other animals too. The little cub gets tired and follows the path back to his den and his warm mother's side.
The illustrations are very basic linoleum prints on textured paper and tell the story of a polar bear cub who wakes up and goes out into the night. Out in the night she sees other animals sleeping - in what is apparently biologically correct positions. [I had no idea seals could sleep in the water with their heads sticking out. I suppose I thought they had to get out of the water. I know I'd like to be able to sleep like that.] The bear experiences nighttime features, such as a meteorite shower ...more
Awful. Grating on my nerves. The words jingle jangle like loose coins in my pocket. No rhythm. I can't tell if it's nighttime or first light. Wake up phrases used, not calm soothing go to sleep sounds. Dark colored pages and black letters make it a bit of a challenge to read.
Sarah Sammis
Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson and illustrated by Stephen Savage is the story of a polar bear cub who can't sleep through the long winter night. While mother bear rests, the cub leaves the den and explores the area seeing seals, a snow storm and the aurora borealis.

Satisfied with his night time adventure, the little bear returns home to snuggle again with his mother. Children who are beginning to test their own boundaries and are discovering the fun of exploring around their own homes will
Because I was once a kid who loved books who grew up to be an adult who loves books, and did a stint as an elementary school teacher, I'll always be drawn to children's literature. I picked up this one because it was a baby polar bear on the cover. It has a baby polar bear on the cover. I knew from the start that I would love you, Polar Bear Night. Or, just mostly enjoy you.

One of the best parts of this book is that is has a padded cover. A padded cover. I know! Put your head on it and slee
Dani Paiz
This would make a really cute bedtime story, a young polar bear explores the night to find different animals sleeping. It's good for vocabulary and print motivation. I'd recommend it for ages 0-5.
I gave this four stars because I love the mood of this book - the writing and illustrations captures that quiet, big world feeling of a wintry night.
Using simple text and big, simple illustations, this is the story of a polar bear cub who takes a walk one sleepless night. She sees a walrus, seals and even a sleeping whale. Under a shower of stars she finds her way back home where her mom is waiting for her. The illustrations grabbed and held the attention of my year-old-storytime audience, and their adult partners as well.
A bit of a mystery where is the polar bear cub going? What she find? A sweet story about living in the arctic and the beauty found there.
Ok, this is not your typical kids book. The verse of the book really works and is calming and even lulls me to sleep reading it. The illustrations are an interesting and cool retro feel, but still modern enough to like it! The story itself is curious as you have a polar bear cub leaving is warm home to wonder outside. He has his friends the moon and stars who through a star shower party while everyone is sleeping. The otters, the whales.....this is just a neat book that is interesting as a paren ...more
Reed Albers
Adorable art with soothing words. A good read for any child who likes animals.
Sep 23, 2009 Taya rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: pbgs-1
The illustrations in this story were very much not to my taste. The colors were all muted and fuzzy in appearance. I have a hard time believing that a child would be captivated by its lack of vibracity. The story line was also lacking, in my opinion. I think that in a book where not much in regards to plot in going on, the illustrations almost need to make up that lost ground. I found both to be rather uninteresting. The idea behind it was very child friendly, but I do not think the execution wo ...more
Laura Graves
Polar Bear Night won a Charlotte Zolotow Honor in 2005. While, I agree that the text is beautiful. I also think it might be a little over the head of young children. Children understand concrete ideas more than abstract ones. I just have a hard time believing a young child would really understand the message, beautiful as it may be. The illustrations are beautiful and really capture the the feeling of a cold climate and late night. I personally loved the book. I just can't agree that it would be ...more
A baby polar bear explores his habitat while all of the other animals are sleeping. He sees a spectacular meteor shower and settles down for the rest of the night.

Linocut prints in a muted color palette give the story a soothing feel with a distinctive approach. PreK-2.
A quiet, beautiful book.
It tells the story of a baby polar bear that wakes in the middle of the night and does a little exploring. He sees lots of other animals sleeping and eventually returns home to his warm, comfy mother to sleep the rest of the night.

Theme: It follows the home-away-home story line.

Curricular Use: It was a very calming story, one that would be good for a quiet time, either as a read-aloud or a guided reading for a young class.

Level: Ages 4-6

Illustrations: Simple and soothing, very supportiv
Feb 06, 2008 Josh rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids, parents, polar bears
Shelves: childrens-books
This wonderful book follows a polar bear cub on a nighttime stroll through the Arctic. Steve Savage's geometric linocut illustrations perfectly mesh with the haiku-like story by Lauren Thompson. Savage's drawings are as flawless as a diamond and as gentle as a sunrise. Spend time with the art to appreciate the subtle pallettes of each 2-page spread, and the iconic simplicity of the figures in the landscape. The result is truly a book for all ages, and is worthy of multiple reads.
This is of the sort of picture book I call "dreamy" - no real storyline, very calming, perfect for bedtime. (Most "dreamy" books ARE bedtime books, in fact.)

The polar bear leaves his mom, sees that all sorts of animals are sleeping, sees the northern lights, and goes back home. Not much of a story, but you don't read these sorts of books for the story, you read them for the illustrations (which are very nice) and for the calming effect and homey feelings.
A little polar bear leaves the cozy comfort of her den to explore the Arctic night. Helps children know it's okay to explore, because Mama will always be waiting at home.
Beautiful colors and interesting use of and juxtapositions with them in this book. It's only about a little bear cub that walks around in the middle of the night, away from his mother's cave, to look at the Arctic sky. Quite a lovely little story, though, and the stylized way the animals are drawn will catch a reader's attention. And, yes, we do see the cub make it back to his mother before the very end of the book.
Incoherent, but the drawings are interestingly minimal.
Gwen the Librarian
I just read this winter/bedtime book to a group of children for the first time and it made such a differencne in my opinion. I always liked the illustrations, but now I'm enamored of the lulling cadence of the book and how truly calming and sleepy the book is. I love the repetition and the color changes as the northern lights enter the story. It's a perfect bedtime book.
The illustrations in this book are beautiful, and great for a large audience of children. Little Polar Bear can't sleep and goes for a walk on the ice. She sees all of the other animals sleeping, watches the stars and the moon, and finally returns home, ready to go back to sleep. The story in this book leaves something to be desired, but the pictures are lovely.
Kelly Schmidt
Baby polar bear wakes up one night and goes exploring in the Arctic. She sees walrus, seals, and whales –all sleeping. Beautiful illustrations accompany the story, which won a NY Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award. Ages 3 -5.
Shanda Kinkade
I spent part of the day hanging out in the children's section of Barnes and Noble reading random books and falling in love. I have some young kids in my life and I think books are one of the best gifts out there. This, along with the other polar bear book by Lauren Thompson, will be an excellent gift for my friend's child. Very adorable and charming.
The illustrations for this book are really unlike anything I've ever seen. I thought they were cool and imaginative. Very modern graphic design. The story was a simple one, but still sweet. I would recommend this book.

*Taken from my book reviews blog:
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