The Polar Bear's Gift: Review and Fun Activities

Inside: A review of The Polar Bear's Gift, an Inuit legend.

The Polar Bear's Gift. Book review by Grade ONEderful. Includes lots of links to resources!

The Polar Bear's Gift

Written by Jeanne Bushey

Illustrated by Vladyana Langer Krykorka

Publishing: Northern Lights Books for Children (Red Deer Press), 2000

Audience: Ages 5 to 9

Themes: Polar Bears, Inuit, Canada, Kindness

Opening: "Please take me with you tomorrow, Ananna," Pani begged as she sat beside her grandmother on their snow sleeping bench. "I want to help you bring food into our igloo."

Synopsis: Pani, an Inuit child, and her grandmother, are eking out a living in the Great White North. The kindly grandmother is doing her best to raise Pani, whose parents were killed in a polar bear hunt. Pani longs to be a great hunter like her parents, but is laughed at, in a society where only men are deemed to be fit hunters. When she finds herself out on the ice, face-to-face with a badly injured polar cub, she must decide whether to let him die or help him. Deciding to assist the cub, the mother bear later rewards Pani with magic cloth and fur.

Why I Like It: This is a lovely Inuit legend which highlights the northern people's respect and dependence on animals. It's a little jarring when the the cub suddenly begins speaking to Pani, so a pre-discussion about legends is probably in order. The illustrations are gorgeous, in a wash of purples, pinks and gold. I really love this story with its feel-good ending.

Book Related Activities:

1. Many Canadian curriculums promote WITS (a program to help children deal with conflicts). W=Walk Away. I=Ignore. T=Talk it Over. S=Seek Help. This story can be used in relation to the "walk away" and "ignore" strategies. Click here to find further ideas.

2. National Geographic for Kids has some slides and great information on polar bears.

The Polar Bear's Gift. Book review by Grade ONEderful. Includes lots of links to resources!

3. Here's an easy experiment to explore how blubber keeps polar bears warm.

4. You could check out Danielle's Place for some sweet polar bear crafts like this one:

The Polar Bear's Gift. Book review by Grade ONEderful. Includes lots of links to resources!

5. Grab a free Polar Bear Subtraction Bump Game.

The Polar Bear's Gift. Book review by Grade ONEderful. Includes lots of links to resources!

6. Check out this post for a review of the book Snow Bear. I've included lots of links to some really cute polar bear art works.

7. If you're studying polar bears, here's a fun idea using triaramas.

The Polar Bear's Gift. Book review by Grade ONEderful. Includes lots of links to resources!


Pin Me, Please :)

The Polar Bear's Gift. Book review by Grade ONEderful. Includes lots of links to resources!

See Susanna Hill's blog if you'd like to join the fun in Perfect Picture Book Friday.

Don't go away!! I have some very important thank yous to make!  First of all, a HUGE thank you to Theresa at The Candy Dish for her Valentine Exchange Gift.
Theresa went TOTALLY out of her way to make me the sweetest framed picture. As you can see, I LOVE to run (and those are actually MY runners in that picture)!
But, as if that wasn't enough, she gifted me with all those other goodies, too. I am SO spoiled. Thank you, Theresa.

And finally, I was fortunate enough to win a gift from the Valentine Exchange. So thank you to Chrissy from Buzzing With Ms. B. for the Valentine's Day Graph Activities AND her Fiction Pack!! Check her out: She's a funny gal with some great ideas to share :)
Have a GREAT evening, everyone! And Happy (almost) Valentine's Day!

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  1. Barbara! Thanks for following and congrats on winning! I hope you're able to use the items with your first graders - it might be a bit challenging for them lol, but maybe there are selected parts that could be helpful (I really hope!)

    Buzzing with Ms. B

  2. Oh yes! There's lots I can use, especially with the fiction organizers. Love it!

  3. What a gorgeous Valentine's Exchange gift!! Such a great idea:) Congrats on your win too!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Barbara!!
    Good Morning Mrs Rubie

  4. Love it all! Polar bears are just fun! This gift exchange has been fun, too! Looks like you had a great week! Enjoy your weekend!

    Peace, Love, and First Grade

  5. Thank you for sharing! I strongly believe that character building should be a vital part of the curriculum at any age. I have done it with Kinders, as well as middle school. I got a positive result with 7th graders by creating relatable scenarios that they could problem solve...I have never heard of WITS...but I LOVE that idea! My mom is an administrator at an elementary school in California & she is always looking for more creative ways to integrate character building into the curriculum. I am not sure that she has heard about this either...(I haven't talked to her about it anyway) - I will def. pass this along (-;


    The 3AM Teacher

  6. The polar bear book looks gorgeous, Barbara, and very interesting. I love books based on legends from other cultures. I am looking forward to searching this one out and reading it! Thanks so much for sharing it and adding it to our list!

  7. I love the sound of this book and the cover illustration is so delicate. Thank you for sharing!

  8. This book looks like it would TOTALLY fit in our Books That Teach collection! Thanks for the tip. And thanks for stopping by the Corner; I'd LOVE for you to sing our song!!


  9. I totally lost my train of thought when I saw the craft of the polar bear. How cute is that? Not sure I can make it, but so much fun.

  10. Those polar bears are AWESOME!! I bet they could be made into a Valentine's box too? Hope you're feeling better!!

  11. I love the picture! You got some great stuff! I had so much fun with the exchange!
    Have a great day!
    ❀Beth Ann❀
    Taming My Flock of Firsties

  12. I love the frame! This polar bear book looks cute too!
     Chrissy

    First Grade Found Me

  13. Thanks for the review! Love the links and craft ideas you added.

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