Friday, September 29, 2017

"Polar Bear Postman" - a bookwrap


Authored and Illustrated by Seigo Kijima

Translated by Mariko Shii Gharbi

Age Range: 4 - 8

Editorial Reviews

"It’s lots of fun watching the postal bear stamp pieces of mail at his desk and pedal his delivery bike through small villages; delicate silhouettes of plants and flowers offer contrast." —Publishers Weekly

"Using heavy black outlines for his characters, Kijima works in a rich array of habitats, evoking them with slashes of color and whispering swipes of clouds." —Kirkus Reviews

"Inspired by the antics of a real bear residing in the Kushiro Zoo in his native Hokkaido, artist Seigo Kijima incorporates the beauty of Japanese wildlife and landscape in a charming tale of love, hope, and community." —Pallas Gates McCorquodale, Foreword Reviews

Unwrapping some great illustrations for you to enjoy

About the book

"This is Milk, the postmaster at the Polar Bear Post Office.  All the animals in the forest know they can count on him."  What a beautiful character resume he has.

One morning while Milk is stamping the mail he notices a postcard addressed to him.  That's odd he thinks and quickly he reads it.  It is from the Red-Crowned Cranes in District 1.  They desperately need help as their baby chick has been missing for three days.  The family got separated while looking for food together in the marsh.  They respect and revere Milk so much they just knew he would help them find their missing little one.  

Milk's heart is deeply troubled at their loss and deeply touched by the fact they trust him enough to get him involved.  He immediately gets on his bike and seeks out his friends: the Red Fox, the Sika Deer, the Siberian Chipmunk and at night he goes deep into the forest to tell the old Blakiston's fish owl about the Red-Crowned Crane's plight, just to name a few.  The answer from each creature is always the same.  "My goodness this is serious! I'll tell all my friends." 

A missing baby crane alert goes out throughout the forest but unfortunately goes unanswered.  Seasons pass by and still nothing. The little chick seems to have just disappeared into thin air.... or has he?

Milk never gives up looking for that little guy. Relentlessly he searches on.  Then one morning a true miracle happens.  Milk notices another postcard addressed to him with great news sent from the Red-Crowned Cranes in District 3.  They write that some time back they found and raised a lost baby chick but they cannot find his parents.  They ask Milk to please help them locate their whereabouts so they could deliver the little guy to his rightful parents.  Do you think the reunion is successful, that that miracle was fulfilled and they all lived happily ever after? 

This book speaks to the themes of cooperation,  having a loving, caring community to live in, working together no matter what your differences to solve a serious problem,  and never ever giving up.  The illustrations are strong and vibrant enriching the storyline greatly. 

I love the message of the book and highly recommend it. 


About the author/illustrator


Seigo Kijima was born in Kushiro City, Hokkaido, Japan. He started exhibiting his illustrations while still a student at Tokyo Design College. In 2013 he received the Japan Picture Book Awards Readers’ Prize for the first picture book he illustrated. One day Kijima was at the zoo when he saw a polar bear walking on its hind legs. The artist imagined the bear as a postman, and the result is Polar Bear Postman—the first book he both wrote and illustrated.

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