Saturday, February 9, 2008

Picture Books: Hello, Arctic!

Taylor, Theodore. 2002. Hello, Arctic! Illus. by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. NY: Harcourt, Inc. ISBN: 0152015779

“Arctic winter is cold, so cold/The northern lights flicker across the dark sky/ But no Arctic summer is coming!” In this simple picture book, Taylor brings the changing of seasons of a remote of the part of the world. Written for beginning readers, the text consists of one sentence per double-spread that is reminiscent of the famous Goodnight Moon. As the seasons transitions, the text welcome the animal and plant life that live and grow in the arctic, “Birds return./Hello, birds./Tundra flowers reach for the sun./Hello, flowers” and bid them farewell and goodnight the season turns cold once more, “Polar bears sleep./Good night, bears.” Though the narrative is minimal and tells the stories, the complimentary illustrations take predominance. Through varying types of printmaking techniques Chodos-Irvine’s landscapes swoops and sways in vibrant colors textures. The animals in the foreground beautifully represented to complete the abstract full double-spread. The combination of the lively artwork and simple text, Hello, Arctic! is the perfect book for new readers to enjoy and learn about the different animals in the Arctic.

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