Reviews for North : The Amazing Story of Arctic Migration

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring
Dawson introduces readers to animals that migrate to the Arctic for the warmer summer months. Polar bears (year-round residents) are joined by whales from Mexico, herrings from Norway, and birds from as far away as Antarctica, among others. Luminous watercolor with pen and pencil illustrations capture the icy Arctic winters, the tundra s fleeting midsummer verdancy, and the migrating groups gracefulness.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2012 #1
Dawson introduces young readers to the Arctic's part-time residents: those that migrate to the region for the warmer months of summer in the Northern hemisphere. From the early months of spring to the waning days of September, the region's famous year-round residents, polar bears, are joined by a host of other species that swim, fly, and walk to the Arctic. "It is the greatest journey on earth!" Whales from Mexico, narwhals from Europe, and herrings from Norway travel by water; Canadian caribou and gray wolves use land routes; and godwits, snow geese, cranes, and terns from as far away as Antarctica take to the skies. Benson's luminous watercolor with pen and pencil illustrations, spread out beautifully over the oversized pages, capture the harsh conditions of the icy Arctic winters, the fleeting verdancy of the tundra in midsummer, and the graceful movements of the migrating groups as they pass through lower latitude forests, oceans, and skies. Particularly powerful are the contrasts between the illustrations of polar bears alone in the vast open spaces of early spring and those showing the teeming life and activity in high season. danielle j. ford

Kirkus Reviews 2011 October #1
In the dark Arctic winters, few species can survive, but in short, lush summers, millions of animals return to reproduce. This combination of lyrical prose and striking illustrations conveys the mystery and magic of the far North and the cycle of darkness and rebirth that includes some astonishing migratory journeys. Dowson's examples come from all over the world: Atlantic and Pacific whales, terns and jaegers from South America, godwits from New Zealand and cranes from China as well as Canadian caribou. His simple, poetic text is set alongside or between Benson's ink, pencil and watercolor paintings, done in icy blues, grays and greens. The creatures are clearly identifiable but often seen through water or snow or from afar, against vast landscapes. Usually there are many, in schools, herds, flocks--this is an emptiness that teems with life for a short while. Six spreads have no text at all, encouraging contemplation and reflection. The backmatter locates the Arctic Ocean and ice cap in Asia, North America and Europe with both text and a map, and the illustrator has included two Atlantic-centered images of Earth from space that dramatize the extent of these journeys. Simple but effective, this is a beautiful introduction to a remarkable region that should encourage any child's sense of wonder. (index) (Informational picture book. 7-10) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 September #3

Few animals can survive the harsh Arctic winter, but in the spring, many species migrate northward. Benson uses a subtle palette of slate blues and copper tones, the generously scaled spreads emphasizing onward motion as terns soar and compete for fish, and a gray whale travels from Mexico, past the Golden Gate Bridge, and to the Arctic Circle. Dowson combines sound knowledge of his subjects with thoughtful lyricism ("After spawning, this silver herring shoal heads north to feed on clouds of blooming plankton"); Benson's lovely spreads, a mix of panels and full-bleed spreads, are a testament to the wonder of the migratory instinct. Ages 7-up. (Nov.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 January

Gr 3-6--Polar bears and just a few other animals--fox, musk ox, and arctic hare--are year-round residents of the far north. "But when spring comes,/bringing back the sun/with light and warmth./the Arctic changes." Animals from many parts of the world begin an annual trek northward to give birth to their young. Narwhal whales, "strange as fairy tales," swim, as do the blubbery walrus and even the Canadian caribou for part of the journey. Other creatures fly or walk. Dowson's poetic text and Benson's impressionistic watercolors introduce seasonal changes as well as various birds, mammals, and even fish that undertake the long migration. The spare text and expansive views provide an inviting sense of the terrain and the journeys endured by the animals. Fine soft pencil work shapes and shades scenes softly lighted in gold, muted green, and aquamarine tones. Set in columns of blank verse, the narrative sometimes appears in black type in a white column or running through a scene and on other pages in white letters framed on shiny aqua. Lovely wordless spreads create pauses in the evocative account. The book is an attractive entry in the growing number of nonfiction poetry picture books, offering rich read-aloud and browsing opportunities.--Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston

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