Polar Bear Island

Ages: 3 and upPublisher: Sterling Publishing Author: Lindsay BonillaIllustrator: Cinta Villalobos


The mayor of Polar Bear Island has a strict policy: Only polar bears allowed. When Kirby the penguin arrives and the bears go ga-ga over Kirby’s cozy, fun Flipper Slippers, Parker grudgingly stretches his policy to include just one penguin. Then Kirby’s family arrives for a visit, introducing the bears to more fun things and even Parker eventually comes around. He asks them all to stay, realizing that “you penguins weren’t taking over our island. You were making it a much better place.” Author Lindsay Bonilla’s message, about the enriching value immigrants bring to their adopted countries, is gentle but clear. Cinta Villalobos’s digital illustrations enhance that message, warming the book’s icy setting with increasingly colorful touches: knitted scarves and boots, lanterns, blanketed sleds and flags.

Lynne Heffley ©2018 Parents’ Choice

A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper’s first weekly children’s arts and entertainment beat.

Available here