From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2 A ship-shaped upthrust of ice entices Bessie to pull on her parka and set off for imaginary voyages. She encounters Snow Bear, a polar bear cub, and they become instant companions, frolicking happily in the Arctic snow. Watched over separately by the cautious mother bear, Nanuq, and Bessie's wary older brother Vincent, the little ones enjoy one another's company until a large male bear appears. His predatory intrusion sends Bessie and Vincent off toward home, and Nanuq and Snow Bear to safety in another direction, while the great ice "ship" slips into the sea. The simple, pleasing text is accompanied by luminous watercolors that faithfully record this charming (if improbable) chance meeting. The pictures are brilliantly colored, detailed even to depicting frosty breaths among the icy blues, frigid greens, and snowy whites, with the two Inuits as rich dark spots in the landscape, in their beautifully decorated fur parkas. While the story calls to mind Robert McCloskey's Blueberries for Sal (Viking, 1948), Bessie and Snow Bear's delightful meeting stands foursquare on its own booted feet (or furry paws). Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Beautiful gift book with outstanding illustrations. When Bessie decides to explore a frozen ice ship one morning, she finds a new playmatea baby polar bear. Snow Bear and Bessie are instant friends, but Bessies brother and Snow Bears mother are worried. The grown-ups wait and watch the little ones play until something happens that will break up the happy pair. With simple text and lavish illustrations, this Arctic picture book will warm readers hearts.
Minor and George (Morning, Noon, and Night) team up again, this time to produce a sort of Arctic Blueberries for Sal. When a small Eskimo girl explores a huge block of ice, she befriends a polar bear cub who has wandered away from his mother. With virtually identical reactions, the girl's older brother and the polar bear mother watch the youngsters cavort: "Up on the ice ship Vincent watches Bessie playing with Snow Bear. Little cubs are friendly. Up on the ice ship, Nanuq watches Snow Bear playing with Bessie. Children are friendly." When a dangerous male polar bear appears, they all run for safety. Set against exquisite ice-blue landscapes, Minor's tableaux are filled with drama and humor: winsome Bessie and stuffed-animal-cute Snow Bear turn somersaults, dance together and cuddle in a snow cave. The artwork in this book is exquisite.
It is a very beautiful book.