#969 – Poles Apart by Jeanne Willis and Jarvis

cover Poles Apart
Written by Jeanne Willis
Illustrated by Jarvis
Nosy Crow  11/01/2016
32 pages   Ages 3—7

“Everyone knows that penguins live at the South Pole and polar bears live at the North Pole. But what would happen if, one day, an adventurous family of penguins took a wrong turn and ended up at the North Pole?” [BACK COVER]

The Pilchard-Brown family head out for a nice picnic. Mr. Pilchard-Brown, reading his map, tells the family, “Turn right at the snowman.” They all obediently turn right but, unbeknown to them all, right is wrong. The Pilchard-Browns, traveling on a snow-covered ice floe, are moving away from home—the South Pole—and heading for the . . . gasp! . . . North Pole! This is very, very, horribly wrong. Why? The Pilchard-Brown family of five is a family of PENGUINS.
9780763689445_il_1_1bf45Mr. and Mrs. Pilchard-Brown, Peeky, Poots, and Pog travel through the night. Then, right before their eyes is a huge white . . . lion. Tiger? Picnic blanket? No, no, and no. The huge white thing spoke.

“I’m Mr. White,” he said. “I’m a polar bear, and you are?”

“Parrots!” said Peeky and Poots.
“Pork pies!” said Pog.
“We’re penguins,” said Mrs. Pilchard-Brown. (Most likely with a sigh.)

Far, far, from home—12,430 miles according to Mr. White—the penguins needed to return to the South Pole. Mr. White always dreamed of traveling to the South Pole, so he guided the Pilchard-Brown family back home. On their journey, Mr. White took them by land and by sea, through the United States, England, India, and Australia. On several occasions, the kids ask to eat their picnic, but mom tells them wherever they were, “it wasn’t home.” (Once it was because of a group of sharks circling their floe.)

Mr. White gets them back home, but not without having a grand adventure along the way. The Pilchard-Browns offer to share their picnic with him, but he was not home, and thus refused. Mr. White returned to the North Pole—his home. After the incredibly long journey, Mr. White lays down. He is happy to have followed a dream, but realizes he will never again see a penguin. Like Mr. Pilchard-Brown and his upside-down map, Mr. White is wrong.

Poles Apart places two creatures together who should have never known about the other. Despite the two living in the same cold environment, neither could consider the other’s home as their own home. Polar bears like it north, while penguins prefer to be south. They are most definitely a Poles Apart.
9780763689445_il_2_b0897The adventure from the North Pole back to the South Pole will entertain children and parents. Familiar landmarks greet the new friends in each country. Like many immigrants, the group lands in New York City. With Mom and Dad Pilchard-Brown following, Mr. White—wearing a too small red bowler—walks the group down an iconic New York City street. A diverse people walk on the sidewalk as yellow cabs dominate the road. The three kids hitch a ride in a large shopping bag, carried by a large polar bear. No one takes notice.

Traveling by sea under dark blue skies, these digital illustrations are clean, crisp, cold, and concise; or, simply snowy and showy. The cityscapes remind me of Benjamin Chaud (The Bears Song, The Bear’s Sea Escape): full of details, many funny, most requiring your full attention to find and appreciate. Looking closely you just might figure out the twist. Children listening will have a good chance of finding things, as mom and dad’s eyes are on the words. I know. I missed it entirely, but went backwards and found it. So much to see and enjoy.

Poles Apart takes a helping paw and turns it into friendship. No longer will mom say, “No, it wasn’t home.” These penguins, and this polar bear, are no longer Poles Apart.

POLES APART. Text copyright © 2015 by Jeanne Willis. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Jarvis. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Nosy Crow, Somerville, MA.

AmazonIndie BooksNosy Crow

Find Poles Apart on Goodreads HERE.

Jeanne Willis:  http://www.jeannewillis.com/
Follow on Twitter

Jarvis:  http://www.byjarvis.com/
Follow on Twitter           @heyimjarvis

Nosy Crow:  http://nosycrow.com/
Follow on Twitter           @NosyCrow

Nosy Crow is an imprint of Candlewick Press.

Reprinted with permission from POLES APART © 2016 by Jeanne Willis, Nosy Crow, an imprint of Candlewick Press, Illustrations © 2016 by Jarvis.

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Poles Apart
Written by Jeanne Willis
Illustrated by Jarvis
Nosy Crow 11/01/2016


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