Booklist Review
Vicks, a polar bear, was born at the Rotterdam Zoo in the Netherlands in 2010, and this book follows his first year of life, from small as a squirrel newborn to sturdy one-year-old. His birth was much anticipated, although the introduction doesn't state why. It's the pictures here that will steal the show, as fluffy Vicks frolics in the water, cuddles with his mama, and learns to climb. The text is informal, but Mack's attempts to get inside Vicks' head feel out of place in a nonfiction text for example, Splash! Vicks's paws get wet. It feels funny, but good, too. In another instance, we see Vicks clinging to his mother, and the text reads, Mama, will you help me out of the water now? But the actual factual elements, which mostly appear as italicized sidebar information, are interesting, even discussing how male and female polar bears pee differently. Alongside the beautiful photos are simple line drawings of polar bears, which make for a child-friendly design. Not perfect, but a nice introduction to a real-life bear.--Kelley, Ann Copyright 2010 Booklist