The Life Cycle of a Polar Bear.


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 978-0-7787-0698-2
DDC j599.786




Reviewed by Gregory Bryan

Gregory Bryan is a member of the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.


Crabtree Publishing’s Life Cycle Series is a must-have resource for school libraries. At last count, the series contained almost 30 titles. Each book features engaging full-colour photographs, a few drawings, a table of contents, an index, and a glossary. Included within each volume is a discussion of the role played in the ecosystem by the featured animal, why that creature is important, what conservation measures are being taken to protect it, the animal’s classification, and its life cycle, life span, habitat, diet, and mating behaviours. The series would prove useful to educators teaching young readers general research information literacy skills beyond the specific focus of each text. Some of the books also provide links to further information on the Internet.


According to The Life Cycle of a Polar Bear, adult polar bears spend two-thirds of their life conserving their energy for when it is needed. Many children will be fascinated by the picture showing a bloodstained polar bear dining on a seal.


Given Hollywood’s recent focus on movies about penguins, The Life Cycle of an Emperor Penguin is timely. The photography in this book is spectacular and children will find the individual and group shots of the penguins irresistible.


Pictures of nursing bat pups are featured in The Life Cycle of a Bat. The “up close and personal” photography (in this book it’s the bat faces) is a feature of the series and is sure to help children develop greater concern for the well-being of all animals.


How many people know there are more than 11,000 species of ants? The Life Cycle of an Ant contains this kind of detailed information and more. The most interesting section is the discussion of the “dairy farmer” relationship some ants have with aphids.

The Life Cycle of a Shark presents an amazing shot of the spiral ribbing of a shark’s egg. Equally amazing is the scale-like enamel-coated denticle skin of a shark.


Each book offers a wealth of material, presented in a succinct and accessible manner (short, simple sentences in large type). These impressive books are highly recommended.


Kalman, Bobbie, and Rebecca Sjonger., “The Life Cycle of a Polar Bear.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 18, 2024,