CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 30 . . . . April 5, 2013
Paola Opal introduces a new animal character with Perry who is a young polar bear. While Perry's mother can swim, Perry has not yet learned how to do so, and his fear of the water keeps him on the polar ice while his mother, who is in the water, demonstrates how he should use his feet as paddles. The most, however, that Perry is willing to do is to stand on the ice and thump his feet in a paddle-like fashion. His thumping causes the ice beneath him to crack, and Perry then floats off on a most unstable chunk of ice. Finding himself getting further and further away from his mother, a desperate Perry throws himself into the water. Lo and behold, not only does Perry actually begin to swim, but he finds that he enjoys doing so and even asks to continue swimming when his mother suggests that they get out of the water and rest.
Opal's signature illustration style, one that utilizes heavy black outlines for figures and objects again serves him well in delivering a warm family-focussed story to his young audience. Opal's "eyes" and the characters' body postures clearly indicate the emotions the characters are experiencing. A must-buy for home libraries and libraries serving the toddler crowd.
Dave Jenkinson, CM's editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB, a city that sometimes can be mistaken for a polar region.
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