Friday, December 28, 2012

The Polar Bear Strikes Again--One Plush, Two Great Books.

As we were going through overstock, we discovered a basket of plush that we hadn't checked on often enough. It turned out that we had several very cute polar bears that were supposed to go on winter displays. If you didn't know it before season, retail has declared the penguin and polar bear the unofficial animals of Christmas. Of course you knew that the cardinal was the official bird, but I've yet to determine what is the official shellfish.

In any case, penguin and polar bear season lasts February at least, as long as they are not wearing holiday caps. In an aside, Hannah confirmed that holiday-themed plush and toys did not sell well at her previous bookstores either, and they experimented with St. Patrick's Day of all things. With us, it's got to be generic enough to last through the holidays. And though we sell an awful lot of bunnies at Easter, they never wear bonnets or hold baskets.

So it turned out we love our plush polar bears and put them out on display. And several minutes later Amie came over to tell me that Polar Bear Morning (Scholastic), by Lauren Thompson and Stephen Savage had just come out (it's pub dated January 2013). It's almost like I waited on purpose. It's about a polar bear cub who meets a snow cub and they romp through the snow together, visiting seals and seagulls, jumping into the water. Kirkus cheered "Hooray" and they are likely not alone; Polar Bear Night was a New York Times best illustrated children's book.

And then Hannah came over and reminded me that her favorite picture book of 2012, The Island (Leminscaat/Ingram Publisher Services) by Marije and Ronald Talman, is also about a polar bear and his many animal friends. It's an oversized and wordless series of paintings that verge into fantasy. What appear to be crayon hashes in the distance turn into a ferris wheel (or is it a sun?), a lighthouse, a lookout. You can imagine a kid telling stories about these illustrations for hours.

And then everyone got into the act, and it seemed as if there were more polar bear books than books about dogs. Could that be possible?

1 comment:

Stephen Savage said...

Thanks for the shout-out, Boswell Book Company! Great to see POLAR BEAR MORNING in your store!