Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
What would you do if you were a polar bear who lost his home due to global warming and did not know where to go? In Skip Hofstrand’s book, Tears for Nanertek¸ children learn about the life of polar bears and the effect of global warming.
This unnumbered but around thirty pages, over-sized hardbound book depicts a beautiful watercolor picture of two large white polar bears, one with tears of joy running down her face on the front cover. The back jacket has a paragraph about the book along with a paragraph and photograph of the author / artist. Interestingly, water used from the melting Green Iceland Cap was used in the painted illustrations. Further information about donated royalties are also listed on the back. With no profanity or scary scenes except a reference to bears sinking in the ocean, the book is targeted to pre-school and kindergarten age children and beginning readers. With several complicated words and some capitalization errors, the book would be best read out loud during quiet time or bed time.
This sad but happy-ending tale is about Nanertak, a young polar bear who lives with his mother in the Arctic. When both tearfully realize the drip, drip, drip sound is their home melting away due to the sun, sky, wind and sea, they have no other choice than to find a new home. Sadly some of their animal friends leave by land, some leave by air and others leave by sea but Nanertak and his mother chose to travel by iceberg.
Due to the global warming, the continuous drip, drip, drip sound is the melting of their iceberg getting smaller and smaller. Forcing the bears into the cold water, they are too weak and weary to swim. When they start to sink, suddenly a ship with a net comes to their rescue and the captain sheds tears when he thinks Nanertak may not survive. The polar bear regains his health and he and his mother are taken to the Arctic Zoo. At their new home, the bears learn that children are the only hope for their survival in the cold climate. In the end, their sad tears for their lost home are turned to tears of hope and joy.
With the beautiful, expressive watercolor pictures and the limited words against the stark white pages, the writer shows his creative, artistic abilities in promoting that future generations need to consider global warming and try to protect nature.