Author(s): Barroux
Illustrator(s): Barroux
Age Range(s): Lower primary, Upper primary


Three polar bear friends find themselves adrift on the big blue ocean when their home of ice cracks apart. They float away, surviving a stormy sea as their piece of ice gets smaller and smaller and they become desperate for help.  They stop at three different islands and plead to be allowed to land. At the first island, inhabited by cows, they are told that they are ‘too bearish’.  At the second island, a solitary panda tells them there is no space, and on the third, walled island, they are ignored by the giraffes who have made it their home. Finally, as their piece of ice is about to melt, they come across a fourth island, where they can land and make themselves at home. When a boatload of monkeys sails by asking for help, the polar bears give them a big “WELCOME!”.

Publisher: Egmont Press
Date: 2016
Number of pages: 32

Illustration notes:

Full page bleeds across each double spread draw us into this visual narrative, with a palette of blue for the sea and light tans, orange, yellow and green for the land. The figures are stylized and almost naïve in style, with little visual fuss on each opening. The typography provides visual clues to the reader for effective reading aloud and there are lots of opportunities for careful page-turns for prediction.

Peritextual notes:

The front cover introduces the two characters, a polar bear and a monkey, unlikely friends. This provides opportunities for prediction around the reasons these two animals are together and why they are dancing happily. The landscape is brown and arid, inappropriate for polar bears, another opportunity for discussion and prediction.

The back cover presents the moment the ice cracks and also provides opportunities for prediction. There is also a statement which suggests the picturebook is about the plight of immigrants, which can be returned to and used as a prompt for discussion

The front endpapers are a deep blue of the sea, the back endpapers show the island shoreline. They represent the beginning and ending of the visual narrative.

Language Notes:

Told in the third person, ‘we’, which suggests a shared experience.

Use of direct speech, which provides a model for roleplaying this story.

Little repetition of language except for use of ‘May we …’ for permission.

Online read-aloud link:

Youtube video

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