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Nothing Ever Happens at the South Pole
Contributor(s): Berenstain, Stan, Berenstain, Jan
ISBN: 0062075322     ISBN-13: 9780062075321
Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books
    OUR PRICE: $9.90  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: August 2012
Annotation: In a never-before-published picture book by the authors and illustrators of the Berenstain Bears, a little penguin receives a blank book in the mail that he is eager to fill with tales of excitement, but while he is seeking adventure he misses the action right before his eyes.100,000 first printing.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Penguins; Fiction.
Books and reading; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Marine Life
- Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
- Juvenile Fiction
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: 2011019371
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 1-2, Age 6-7
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 9.50" H x 7.50" W x 0.50" (0.65 lbs)
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 156392
Reading Level: 2.3   Interest Level: Lower Grades   Point Value: 0.5
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring)
In search of exciting things to write about in his new journal, an exuberant penguin wanders about the Antarctic, oblivious to his inadvertent foiling of attacks by wolves, bears, whales, and a walrus. The rhyming text is clunky, and word choice is lackluster. What saves this story is the simultaneous humor and danger communicated in the expressive cartoon illustrations.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2012 August #3)

Originally intended as the Berenstains' second book—following The Big Honey Hunt (1962), which marked the first appearance of the Berenstain Bears—this story was set aside as the husband-and-wife team focused on their popular Bear family. After the death of Stan Berenstain in 2005, Jan finished the book with their son, Mike. The story features an oblivious main character for readers to feel smarter than and a humorous disconnect between text and art—now-common contrivances that are used more successfully elsewhere. After the penguin receives a blank book ("Something happens every day./ Write it down right away" reads the cover), he leaves his igloo looking for a story. In clunky, singsong rhymes, the penguin ?recounts his futile search for adventure ("No! That is no good—/ I made a snowball. Look./ That is not good/ for my new book"), but the illustrations tell another story. The penguin's snowball wipes out three ferocious wolves, lumps of snow are really polar bears, and a "stepping stone" in the water is actually a submerged (and angry) walrus. With awkward, repetitive verse and a thin plot, this story has little to offer. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2012 July)

PreS-Gr 2—Originally intended to be the follow-up to the Berenstains's The Big Honey Hunt (Random, 1962), this manuscript was completed by Jan and their son Mike after Stan's death. Following the pattern of the early books, the rhymed text features an endearing character reminiscent of Papa Bear at his most clueless. Having received a blank journal in the mail, a penguin sets off on a walk near his South Pole igloo, determined to have adventures to write about. As he wanders, he dreams of stopping bad guys with a giant snowball, jumping on monsters, facing danger on an ice floe, and escaping whales; he is oblivious to the fact that all these things are happening around him. Finally, the penguin returns home, hoping to find something interesting to write about tomorrow. The repetitive text is fine for beginning readers, but some of the verses do not scan properly. Humorous pictures make up for any faults in the text, as long as readers are willing to get past the fact that polar bears, Arctic wolves, and walruses do not live at the South Pole. Like the lucky chicken in Pat Hutchins's Rosie's Walk (Macmillan, 1968), this peripatetic penguin manages to escape becoming a meal. Children will enjoy finding the lurking predators and predicting what will happen next.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT

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