January 1st is Polar Bear Plunge Day. Nope, I didn’t take a polar plunge (brrrr), but I did check out a pile of books about Polar Bears from the library. It turned out to be a JACKPOT of good books. I want to pass on my top picks:

picture book POLAR OPPOSITES by Eric Brooks

POLAR OPPOSITES by Erik Brooks is about two animals who both love icy water. That is about where their similarities end.

“Alex is a BIG polar bear.
Zina is a tiny penguin…
Alex lives in the Artic.
Zina lives in the Antarctic.
Alex and Zina are polar opposites!”
What a great book to introduce or strengthen the concept of opposites.

It is also a wonderful story of friendship despite differences.

Picture book Polar Bear Night
POLAR BEAR NIGHT by Lauren Thompson

“Snug inside her warm den, a polar bear cub wakes. Something in the moonlit stillness quietly beckons. What is it?”

Polar Bear Cub leaves his den and embarks on a magical journey through a nighttime wonderland.

The story is calm but captivating. While reading I wondered, what beckoned the little cub? Where is he going? Will the cub return to his den? Is his mom going to wake up and worry about him?

What a lovely and satisfying winter tale.

Picture Book Ida, Always
IDA, ALWAYS by Caron Levis

There are a few that make me cry every time. For example, LOVE YOU FOREVER by Robert Munsch and YOU ARE SPECIAL by Max Lucado.

When I picked up IDA, ALWAYS by Caron Levis and Charles Santoso I wasn’t expecting to cry. I had just finished a couple light-hearted books about polar bears. I grabbed this book and noticed its’ beautiful artwork. The touching friendship of Gus and Ida pulled me into the story.

Then came the part in the story where Ida becomes sick and Gus learns that her sickness is not curable. Gus learns Ida is going to die.

It immediately transported me back to the time in my youth when I learned my grandmother had cancer and that she was going to die.


Gus loves Ida to the end…

…and Ida lives on in Gus.

Although this book is inspired by two bears in the Central Park Zoo, it would be a good book to read with a child who has a very sick loved one or with a child who is processing grief and loss.

 The Picture Book The Bear Report and a stuffed polar bear.
THE BEAR REPORT by Thyra Heder

THE BEAR REPORT by Thyra Heder

Sophie is asked to report on polar bears. BORING. She quickly scratches 3 facts-

  1. They are big
  2. They eat things
  3. They are mean

Then she returns to watching TV. Suddenly Olafur, a polar bear, appears and they are transported to the artic where she learns polar bears (and artic life) are anything but boring.

I loved all the little tid-bits Olafur shared with Sophie, especially the glacier mouse. First time I have ever heard about them. What if you really could go on this kind of adventure every time you were given a report assignment? That would be cool.

Enjoy Your Polar Bear Reading

Grab a copy of these great titles from your local library or book shop, snuggle up with a cute kid & enjoy.

Jamie Bills

p.s. If you are interested in even MORE great polar bear books, THE THREE SNOW BEARS by Jan Brett & LITTLE POLAR BEAR by Hans Beer are a couple other great options.

p.p.s. My Instagram has new recommendations daily: