Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Library Loot ~ January 18-24

Winston of Churchill: One Bear's Battle Against Global Warming ~ by Jean Davies Okimoto, 2007, children's picture book, 10/10
Winston is worried because the ice of the Hudson Bay is melting sooner each year and he and his fellow polar bears have less time to hunt for food, but he comes up with an idea that will make the tourists who come to see the bears realize what is going on.
Winston wrote a book for the other polar bears.  It includes this sentence:  "People need to burn less gas, make less garbage, and plant more trees."  Some polar bear asked, "But what can we do?"  Winston's answer:
"We can't do anything ... We are bears.  We don't drive cars or burn coal.  We like it cold."
And then came the refrain, repeated often in the book:
"Yes, ice is nice," everyone agreed.
So they must convince people to change, and that's what they proceed to do.  Winston has a plan for a polar bear protest.  Everyone said yes, except for one bear who said, "No."  It was Winston's wife.  Notice the bear is named "Winston," and these polar bears live near the town of "Churchill" in the Canadian province of Manitoba.  Kids who "read" picture books won't make any connection when they hear Winston and Churchill, but their parents will.  The book even quotes Winston Churchill's war rhetoric with the words, "We shall defend our island..."  One cub (smart kid) speaks up:  "We don't live on an island.  We live in Manitoba."  Winston tells him it was "just a figure of speech."  Uh-huh, Churchill's speech.

(click to enlarge this back cover)
Oh, yeah, Winston's wife, says she won't join the protest unless he quits smoking.  Just like the man in England, he smokes a cigar.  But his wife says,
"That thing in your mouth is an instrument of pollution."  Then she adds, "No cigar or I'm not going."
The next morning, the bears marched across the tundra with signs saying, "Solar Power" and "Freeze Please" and "Save our Home."  And Winston?
And the fierce, brave bear they were following ... was chewing a twig.
Find yourself a copy and read it to see what happens next, okay?  This great story book rates 10 of 10 with me.

(I think I'll have to cross-post this review on Greening the Blue Planet.  When I started blogging five years ago, one of my blogs was about environmental issues, and I faithfully posted there as well as here on my book blog. Click the link to go take a look, if this subject interests you.)

The Discovery of Jeanne Baret: A Story of Science, the High Seas, and the First Woman to Circumnavigate the Globe ~ by Glynis Ridley, 2010, biography
The year was 1765.  Eminent botanist Philibert Commerson had just been appointed to a grand new expedition:  the first French circumnavigation of the world.  As the ships’ official naturalist, Commerson would seek out resources — medicines, spices, timber, food — that could give the French an edge in the ever-accelerating race for empire.  Jeanne Baret, Commerson’s young mistress and collaborator, was desperate not to be left behind.  She disguised herself as a teenage boy and signed on as his assistant.  The journey made the twenty-six-year-old, known to her shipmates as “Jean” rather than “Jeanne,” the first woman to ever sail around the globe.
The Night Circus ~ by Erin Morgenstern, 2011, fiction
The circus arrives without warning.  No announcements precede it.  It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.  Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements.  It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night.  But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway — a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors.  Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing.
Library Loot is a weekly meme co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.  If you would like to share a list of the loot you brought home from the library, Claire has the Mister Linky this week.


Amy said...

Awesome Library Loot!

Linda said...

I enjoyed The Discovery of Jeanne Baret and The Night Circus. Enjoy!

Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

They all sound wonderful. Enjoy!

Helen's Book Blog said...

Winston of Churchill sounds very cute and clever. I look forward to hearing what you think of the Night Circus!

Beth said...

The circumnavigation book looks interesting -- I'll have to come back and see your review.

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Here's another book about polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba:

Never Look a Polar Bear in the Eye: A Family Field Trip to the Arctic's Edge in Search of Adventure, Truth, and Mini-Marshmallows ~ by Zac Unger

Read about it here: