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If Polar Bears Disappeared

(If Animals Disappeared)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  257 ratings  ·  38 reviews
The freezing ecosystem in the far north of the globe is home to many different kinds of animals. They can be

Strong, like a walrus
Tough, like a lemming
Resilient, like an arctic fox

But no arctic animal is as iconic as the polar bear.

Unfortunately, the endangered polar bear is threatened with extinction due to rapid climate change that is causing the ice where it hunts/lives
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 28th 2018 by Roaring Brook Press
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  257 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book I've read by this author and it is once again illustrating what would happen if a certain animal species was to disappear. In this case, we're talking about polar bears.

The author first explained the habitat

followed by a brief exploration of polar bears' evolution (to explain the reason for the different fur colour, mostly)

concluding with what is threatening the polar bears existence and why/how.

Once again, the illustrations were adorable and greatly helped to illustrate
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully illustrated book highlighting the dangers of climate & environmental change on our planet, highlighting in particular the effects on polar bears. Well written and not preachy this is an awesome book for younger and older readers alike.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Clearly written, easy to understand, engaging and necessary.
Using the same approach to climate change that she did in her first book, If Sharks Disappeared, author Lily Williams describes the effects of global warming on various species. While some short-sighted individuals might see the demise of polar bears as singular, regrettable, of course, but having little impact on other animals and nature, she points out their struggles and what might happen if too much sea ice melts. Not only would these resilient and majestic animals be forced to scavenge for ...more
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I fell in love with Lily's first book in this series, "If Sharks Disappeared", and my feelings for "If Polar Bears Disappeared" are no different. In this latest release, Lily tackles the difficult topic of climate change and how the disappearance of an apex predator affects all ecosystems, and ultimately, all of us. With her thoughtful, informative text and engaging illustrations, the readers are pulled into the plight of polar bears, seals, orcas, fish, caribou, etc. I am a big fan of using pi ...more
Maggie Rappleyea
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informational
I think that this book would be most appropriate for first grade and on through elementary school.

This is an informational book about the effect of climate change on the Arctic. It is well illustrated with many labels. The language is simple; however, any word that may be outside of a young child's vocabulary is included in a glossary along with a list of recommendations for combating climate change.

I believe this is a very approachable text on climate change for young minds. It doesn't aim to a
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
If Polar Bears Disappeared by Lily Williams PICTURE BOOK, NON FICTION Roaring Brook Press, (Holtzbrinck), 2018. $18.00 9781250143198



The sea ice is melting because of climate change. Polar bears depend on the sea ice for hunting, traveling, and caring for their young. Less sea ice means less habitat for the plants and animal that live in the polar regions; climate change affects all of them, seals, whales, shrubs, caribou, even lem
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A simplified look at what can happen if Artic ice melts. The author starts by looking at Polar Bears, the apex Aric predator but moves through the food chain to explain how the loss of ice and warming of waters will affect all animals and plants in the Artic and ripple out to affect us all. The richly colored illustrations depict the animals and plants fondly and should endear the reader to their plight. Suggested further readings and a bibliography round out a book that exhorts its readers to d ...more
April Hopkins-Canada
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cvtc-kid-lit
I liked this, but not as much as other books by Lily Williams. However, I did like how it was written very clearly and simply, making it easier for younger readers to explore this educational topic. I especially like how it also focuses more on climate change specifically, rather than some other issues of humanity. It gives young children the opportunity to make connections and create their own opinions and conclusions. I would suggest this book for independent early reading, or perhaps for a th ...more
Paige Fulkerson
Apr 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This nonfiction book has a cause and effect structure where it starts with how if polar bears disappeared, it would affect other animals, other food chains, other habitats, and ecosystems across the world / as a whole. This book also tied in nicely how there is still time to make change and that the answer is to learn more about it and make those changes in our own life. It would be great to read this book to elementary aged kids while learning / talking about global warming and impacts of anima ...more
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In our region of northern Michigan, the two worst storms of winter 2017-2018 arrived in April. This was followed by a summer leaving us categorized with severe drought. Then the rains came in September . . . for weeks. On the heels of this non-stop rain, our first snow arrived on November 10, 2018 and it's here to stay. The seasons of my childhood and early adulthood are no longer present. Our resilient but fragile planet and its inhabitants are in danger. The National Snow & Ice Data Center rec ...more
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bookaday #92. The effect of climate change on the polar bear is easy to read and understand for the young reader. A more detailed description of the problem can be found in the back matter. My public library shelves this in E section, it’s a hybrid NF, have to check to see where my school library places it. My prediction is confirmed - the girl has a framed photo of a polar bear, a shark plushie, and elephant figure on her desk - an elephant book is due in September!
Lots of good information here. The illustrations appear to be geared toward younger (elementary-aged) children, but the information seems to be better suited for older children. Can still use with younger students, would just need to offer a lot of support.

I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you:
Tracy Holland
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a new series, one that I really like. In this nonfiction piece, the author highlights the circle of life, and what happens when the apex species, the polar bear, is removed from he environment due to human behavior. This is a very timely, tangible read for students to understand the importance protecting the environment so that ecosystems will not collapse.
Lisa Boyle
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Lily Williams does an incredible job with the text and illustrations, showing the importance of polar bears in the ecosystem and how the environment changes are harming polar bears today. Lily Williams also has other books describing certain animals roles in ecosystems such as "If Sharks Disappeared," which is also very informative. ...more
Lauren S
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is highly informative and raises awareness of our changing climate and how it is affecting the Arctic. I didn't realize some of the major effects that will happen if the polar bears disappear. So much will be effected, it's pretty crazy. ...more
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great artwork, and though the subject matter is tough, it is accessible to children and fairly optimistic.

I think it works well that while the action to take in the text itself is somewhat vague, there are more concrete suggestions in the endnote.
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
The artic ecosystem is home to many different kinds of animals. They can be large like the orcas and tiny like insects. The arctic ice is melting and therefore those who inhabit the ecosystem are affected. I like the cause/effect format of the book.
May 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Lots of great information about the polar ice melting and how that is going to affect lots of animals. Information in the end about what we can do to help. A great nonfiction book, although the pictures do seem like they would appeal to a younger age than the text.
Ampersand Inc.
Jan 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: saffron-s-reads
A look at the impact of global warming on the Arctic.
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A simpler explanation on how the potential loss of the polar bears could effect the rest of life on this planet.

Beautiful illustrations, simple text that breaks it down simply for readers to understand the importance of what is happening and the cause and effect.
Michele Knott
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love the cause/effect format of this book. It makes it easy to see the impact the animal has on its environment.
Deana Metzke
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
My kids and I loved this 2nd book in the series! Read more about why we liked it at my blog here https://raisingreaderssite.wordpress.... ...more
While the information was important and interesting, I think it was a little much for a picture book. The information is kind of a downer up until the end.
Mary Norell Hedenstrom
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great depiction of the domino effect of climate change on plants and animals.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
A simplified summary of the conditions and consequences of global warming. For my full review, see ...more
Meagan Ehline
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book about Polar Bears and how they are endangered. The book gives tips on what we can do to help save them.
Miss Sarah
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-nonfiction
A nonfiction book about the impact the world's environemental choices have on the lives of polar bears and what could happen to the eco system should polar bears dissapear. Elementary and up ...more
Well done! A super way to help kids understand the ramifications of climate change.
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Lily Williams is the author and illustrator of the If Animals Disappeared nonfiction picture book series and graphic novel Go With The Flow (co-written with Karen Schneemann). She grew up in Northern California where she received her B.F.A. from California College of the Arts. Lily seeks to inspire change, engage audiences, and educate people of all ages with her artwork. Her work can be seen in f ...more

Other books in the series

If Animals Disappeared (4 books)
  • If Sharks Disappeared
  • If Elephants Disappeared
  • If Bees Disappeared

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