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Reviews - Books for Children
Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated The World - Review
By Cynthia Kirkeby
Mar 18, 2008, 17:52 PST



Children’s books are often fun little stories, sometimes with a moral, sometimes with just some fun. Once in awhile a children’s book comes along that lets us entertain our kids while teaching them about the larger world around them. One such book is Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated The World.

Knut (pronounced K-noot) is a baby polar bear that was born in the Zoo Berlin on December 5, 2006. The story of Knut was written by Craig Hatkoff and his two children Juliana and Isabella, in conjunction with Dr. Gerald R. Uhlich.

Originally one of a set of twins, Knut and his brother caught the attention of the public when they were born in captivity. With all of the stories on global warming, polar bears have been in the news. With their habitats being effected by diminishing ice packs, their survival in the wild is questioned. When Knut’s mother abandoned him and his twin, it became obvious that survival in captivity wasn’t much easier.

His zookeeper, Thomas Dörflein, is a very determined man and has almost single-handedly been the difference between Knut living or dying. Spending hundreds of hours on the cub, Thomas has managed to feed him by hand, and help him thrive.

The book on Knut is full of adorable photos of the young cub that are sure to delight young readers. Looking cute and cuddly throughout, the reader is suddenly brought back to the reality of this being a polar bear by a photo of the cub on his back and great big claws sticking out of his paws. This idea is reinforced in the story by pointing out that Thomas the zookeeper won’t be able to play rough with the cub for much longer, since the cub could inadvertently injure his best friend.

In addition to the story on Knut, there is a short section on polar bears in the back of the book, as well as a page on the biggest threat to this amazing species. There is a little section on how you and your kids can help with basic conservation tips that anyone can do.

Overall Knut is a great children’s book that is fun and educational at the same time. Be sure to visit Zoo Berlin’s special website on Knut after you read the book: http:// www.respect-habitats-knut.org.




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