Polar Worlds: Life at the ends of the earth Hardcover – Sep 1 2008
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Quill & Quire
The nearly 80-year-old artist Robert Bateman’s wildlife paintings are both photo-realistic and strikingly animated – imbuing their subjects with life, even when they are depicted doing nothing more than sunning themselves. The paintings are, therefore, a perfect fit for kids as well as adults. Following Bateman’s Backyard Birds and Birds of Prey comes Polar Worlds, composed entirely of images of life at the two coldest extremes of the Earth. Bateman admits in his introduction that he “wasn’t expecting much” when he first visited the Arctic and Antarctic, but was amazed to discover the wealth of life at both poles. There were penguins in the south and bears in the north, of course, but also caribou, whales, ermines, puffins, wolves, hares, and more. Each of these animals gets the delicate full-colour treatment here, along with a few paragraphs of text and a sidebar of bullet-point facts. The art is the real focus, though occasionally the layout threatens to crowd out the paintings, which is especially odd given the fairly workmanlike nature of the prose – aside from the occasional travel-diary-type detail from Bateman, there’s nothing in the text that can’t be found in countless other wild animal primers. Obviously, this being a kids’ book, a balance had to be found between image and information, but an otherwise solid book would have been exceptional had the balance tipped in favour of the former.
About the Author
Robert Bateman's artwork has received international critical acclaim and has attracted an enormous following around the world. His renowned art can be found in many museum exhibitions, such as the Smithsonian Institution, while his work is also included in the Royal Family's collections. Robert Bateman's talent has been recognized with the Order of Canada and he has also been the subject of three books and six films. His dedication as a naturalist and artist has allowed Robert to transfer his abilities to children's books. Bateman's Vanishing Habitats, Polar Worlds, Birds of Prey, and the bestselling Backyard Birds showcase his stunning artistic talent and commitment to nature's preservation.