This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.
This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
The Adventures of Polo the Bear: A Story of Climate Change by Alan J. Hesse is a charming and humorous tale about a bear that embarks on a journey around the world and discovers important lessons about climate change. Polo has a serious problem. His home is melting and hunting is becoming difficult. During a hunting trip, the melting ice sweeps him away into stormy waters where he meets fishermen and sets out on an unforgettable adventure, taking him to places in North America, China, Columbia, and many others. He meets extraordinary people that teach him about climate change and the impact it has on their lives. Every adventure Polo discovers and each new location features a different problem rampant today with topics covered including hurricanes, deforestation, and pollution. Hesse includes an epilogue that contains further reading on the basic science behind climate change.
The characters are a charming blend of animals that talk and ordinary people dealing with real-life problems. The story centers on a polar bear that travels around the globe during a time of crisis at his home and meeting others that share his adventures which end up making him a celebrity. He meets a variety of people such as fishermen, villagers, and sledders. He makes a name for himself by reaching out to people and helping them along the way such as pulling them out of frozen waters, listening to their stories of devastation, and being a voice for everyone he meets. All the welcoming people that he encounters allow for Alan J. Hesse to explore various cultures and ways of life around the world, from Champion Island to China to India to North America. The use of education entertainment is brilliantly done, blending adventures and humor with endearing characters and the various ways of life around the world impacted by changes in the climate. Among these adventures, Polo finds himself learning about tar sands oil production, various hurricanes, deforestation, landslides, plastic in the oceans, over-fishing, air pollution, the peace treaty in Colombia between one of the main guerilla groups and farmers, unpredictable weather and lack of rain, and flooding.
Hesse delves into the effects on wildlife by educating young readers about melting ice caps harming polar bears and their hunting, with frogs and bears among the animals losing their homes to deforestation, a species of mockingbirds on Champion Island affected by a disease carried by flies, various ocean species from the oceanic sunfish to a rather toothy shark in danger thanks to water pollution, and the disappearing bamboo impacting the diet of panda bears. The humor is delightful with various scenes of Polo sailing across the oceans in a boat, taking a trip to the supermarket to shop, having a chance encounter with a Yeti that demands Polo make a change in the world, and meeting a little tiger cub that steals his hat. The artwork is lovely and arranged as a comic with panels containing colorful images depicting places around the world and even maps that detail exactly where in the world Polo is. Hesse has created an astonishing adventure that provides an educational source for all things climate change and is written in a way that reaches any age, both child and adult.