December 23, 2011

Perfect Picture Book Friday - Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated The World

This is one of my favorite things about the holidays: getting up in the dark and turning on the Christmas tree lights, then sitting with a book (or in this case my computer as I write my blog :)), the dogs, and a cup of coffee, enjoying the beauty and peace while the rest of the house is still asleep.  There's something lovely about having a tree in the living room :)

I'm going to be brief (for me :)) today, because visiting family is here, and I'm way behind on baking and wrapping, and I'm guessing you all have important people and things to get to also.  So first, my Perfect Picture Book and then just one other little thing :)

Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated The World
Written (Told) By: Juliana, Isabella, and Craig Hatkoff and Dr. Gerald R. Uhlich
Photographs By: Peter Griesbach, Andre Schule, Sean Gallup,  Rainer Jensen and others.
Scholastic Press, November 2007
Suitable For: ages 5 and up
Themes/Topics: animals, endangered animals, caring, environmentalism
Opening:  "One December afternoon, in a cozy, dark enclosure in a zoo in Berlin, Germany, a polar bear cub was born."
Brief Synopsis:  This is the true story of Knut, a newborn polar bear whose mother was unable to care for him.  Thomas Dorflein, a bear keeper at the zoo, became Knut's "foster father" - bottle feeding him, bathing him, sleeping beside him and teaching him to play and swim.  Knut was loved the world over, and helped bring recognition to the plight of polar bears, endangered by the potential loss of their habitat.

Links to resources:  Knut Teaching Resources.  This link has subsequent links to activities, video clips, articles, and other animals-against-adversity stories.  The back of the book also has lots of information about polar bears, how they are threatened, and how you can help.

Why I Like This Book:  It's a true story, and a deeply touching one, that is also educational and informative.  The photographs are gorgeous and very appealing.  It shows that there are people in the world who care enough to sacrifice a great deal to help someone else - even if that someone else happens to be a baby polar bear.  The book brings attention to ecological concerns, the environment, and caring for all species, and lists ways kids can help.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

(For those of you also posting a Perfect Picture Book today, please remember to put your link on the list below.)

And now, for the one other little thing.

The Holiday Contest is officially closed with a grand total of 29 fabulous entries (28 on the link list and one in the comment section.)  I will post finalists on Monday (and yes, Penny and Cathy, I will probably be needing some of that Red Bull because I was very ambitious thinking I was going to have time for this on top of all the other Christmas activities!!)  Of course, I've read them all already, but making decisions about which are best is going to be VERY hard. You guys have cut my work out for me :)

And now, Happy Holidays to everyone!  I wish you all love, health, peace and joy :)


  1. I remember the story of Knut! It is a sweet story. Hope you have a merry Christmas and a happy new year, Susanna!

  2. Thank you, Laura! You, too!!! (ANd yes, Knut is about as cute as it gets :))

  3. My kids and I love that book! So sad Knut isn't with us anymore. :-( His story will always live on thankfully.

  4. I love Knut! I didn't know there was a story book about him! Have a HAPPY HAPPY Christmas!!

  5. Love your book Review... soo cute. Have a Happy Christmas, enjoy the family and all that goes with it.

  6. Knut was such a delight. I'm glad there's a book telling the story of his early life, and I'm delighted to note that it was written by the same people who wrote about Owen and Mzee.

    Have a wonderful Christmas, Susanna, and thank you so much for all you do to add value to the world of picture books!

  7. P.S. Is it just me? I couldn't seem to connect to the link for Read to Me Bible.

  8. Cynthia - I know :( I left that part out because it's too sad!

    Erik - It's a wonderful story isn't it? Happy Christmas to you too!

    Diane - to you too! :)

    Beth - I love Owen and Mzee too - I might have to do that one another time, but Knut seemed right for this time of year. And no, it wasn't just you. Stacy had a problem setting up the link from her mobile but I just fixed it so it should work now! Merry Christmas!

  9. I love the story of Knut. Have given it to my grandchildren. Such a favorite story. It definitely should be on our list.

    And, I love Owen and Mzee and the many other unusal stories of animals caring for each other. There is movie coming out in April, The Chimpanzee, that is about a young chimpanzee lost from his family. A gorilla becomes his mother. It is a true story, and the Jane Goodall foundation is behind this documentary.

  10. What a lovely one for Christmas. I can't link from a playbook so when I get another chance on the pc after play dates I'll link. Happy Christmas!

  11. I am so glad you included Knut, I just loved his story. I was sorry to learn of his death earlier this year :(

  12. That cover photo is adorable!
    Merry Christmas Susanna :)

  13. This book is a favorite in the library-I didn't know he had died-I'm so sad! I visited the link that you posted for activities, and the video footage is sooo sweet. Thank you for sharing!

  14. This looks like a great book. I love non fiction books. Knut is so cute! Merry Christmas!

  15. Pat - I know, I love those animal stories! Also the one about the elephant and the dog - I forget their names - but so sweet! I'll have to keep an eye out for that movie.

    Catherine - I'm glad you like it! I'll try to notice whether you get your link up and do it if you don't.

    Joanna - I know - that part was too sad so I skipped it!

    Coleen - isn't it just? Happy Hanukah to you!

    Kelly - I just love animal stories - preferably happy ones :)

    Loni - if you haven't read it, I think you'd like it. It's very well done. Merry Christmas to you too!

  16. Sounds like I would love Knut, especially since a cried my eyes out at the movie A Dolphin Tale. Hadn't heard of this book, so thanks for sharing!

  17. Susanna, I love anything Polar Bear related! I do not envy your decision making process for the holiday contest- there were MANY FABULOUS entries. I really loved reading them.
    Finally got my PPB post and link in- been driving for 11 hours visiting family.
    Happy holidays everyone!!!

  18. Julie - you will!

    Tracy - You are a star for getting a PPB post in on top of all that!!! Have a wonderful Christmas :)

  19. I love the image you've painted of you in the early morning with the christmas lights on, your coffee and the dogs by your side. I can tell why you're such a good writer from that passage alone.

    And the picture book about Knut sounds like a touching story. I love books that teach children (or grown ups) about the beauty of friendship - whether it be between people or animals! Thanks for sharing.

    Hope tomorrow is wonderful for you and your family, Susanna. :-)

  20. I just saw on the news this morning that there is a polar bear cub named Siku that is being hand-raised at the national zoo in Denmark. Google will bring you to a wonderful list of YouTube videos of this newest arctic charmer!

  21. Cathy - thanks so much for telling me! I will definitely have to check that out!


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