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Explore the North and South Pole: Books about Polar Animals

Today we are exploring the ends of the Earth (literally!)

If you enjoyed penguin books & resources, you’ll LOVE this list of books that feature all types of polar animals!

Most of us will never have the opportunity to visit the North or South poles.  The media frequently shares numerous stories about how changes in our environment are affecting the habitats of animals that live at the poles.  And scientists continue to study both the climate and animal behaviors at both ends of the earth.

I don’t know about you but not being able to visit a location usually seems to pique my curiosity.  So we turn to other ways that we can learn about the area — books and hands-on activities!

Kids Books about Polar Animals

I’m sharing a few great books for kids (and adults) interested in the polar regions along with affiliate links so you can learn more about each book.   And this week’s linky (below) includes a number of excellent activities for kids who are curious about the animals and climate at the North and South pole.

North Pole South Pole

This is an AWESOME introduction to the similarities and differences at the two poles.  The book is a Level 2 reader which can be used as a read-aloud or a book with kids who are beginning to read.  The illustrations are very engaging and kids will love to look at the details of life at the North and South poles.  There is quite a bit of science included in the book along with TONS of details about the animals, people and weather at both ends of the Earth.  Great for ages 3 – 8 years.

Polar Bears and Penguins: A Compare and Contrast Book

A wonderful science learning read from Sylvan-Dell, this book can be used with kids who are learning to read also.  Many kids think that penguins and polar bears live together but, in fact, they reside at opposite poles.  The book does a great job of sharing the differences of the two animals with simple text and beautiful photos.  And the best part of all the books published by Sylvan-Dell are the in-book activities and online resources for each one!  Perfect for kids ages 2 – 8 years.

Something to Tell the Grandcows

I thought this was a fun addition to our booklist even though it only focuses on the South Pole.  It’s actually a fiction book that is ‘loosely’ based on the expeditions of Admiral Byrd, one of the first explorers to visit the area.  It seems that on one of his trips, he brought along a few cows (I assume, for the fresh milk they could produce but the book doesn’t give us any indication as to why).

This is the story of one cow who applied to go on the trip with Admiral Byrd and what she experienced during her travels.  Kids will not only enjoy the story of Emmadine’s travels but will also learn a good deal about the South Pole expeditions.  A fun read for kids ages 3 – 10.

Ice Is Nice!: All About the North and South Poles

One of the books in the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library series.  The book briefly discusses the animals at both poles but really focuses on the climate and weather conditions.  There is a nice description of how polar bears stay warm and the variety of penguins who live at the South pole.  Not one of my favorites in the series but a nice addition to the discussion of polar animals for young children.  Best for ages 3 – 7 years.


Eye Wonder: Arctic and Antarctic

And as always, DK does a great job sharing photos of the animals that live in both the arctic and antarctic regions of the globe.  One of our favorite features of the DK books is small bursts of text mixed among the gorgeous photos.  This book does a nice job of explaining the details of ice and icebergs in addition to showing each pole’s location and residents.  Younger kids will be enthralled by the photos and older kids will enjoy the detailed text.  Beautiful reads for kids ages 3 – 12.


Global Warming and the Dinosaurs: Fossil Discoveries at the Poles

I know what you’re thinking:  dinosaurs aren’t polar animals 🙂  Yep, you are correct but this book has a really unique focus — dinosaur fossils discovered at the poles!  The book does a nice job introducing the various types of dinosaurs that lived in the polar regions before those areas were cold enough to be only ice and snow.  And the book shares stories of some very recent fossil discoveries near the poles (one of the newest was in 2005!).  Great for any dinosaur fan or kids ages 6 – 12.


Atlas of the Poles and Oceans (Picture Window Books World Atlases)

Although not completely dedicated to the poles, this atlas does a wonderful job of introducing the differences between the animals, plant life and people in the Artic and Antarctic regions.  I love the graphs and maps used throughout the book along with the coombination of colorful illustrations and photos.  There is also a nice section for each of the oceans and a great glossary.  An excellent resource for kids ages  – 12.

Poles Apart: Why Penguins and Polar Bears will Never be Neighbors

A great non-fiction book for older kids who are interested in some of the history and scientific discoveries at the two poles. Kids will learn quite a bit about the explorers, the native peoples and scientists & the animals at the North and South poles.  Photos are included throughout the book along with very detailed text — it would be a great resource for kids who are doing a unit study or paper on the subject.  Good for ages 8 – 14.

arctic animal crafts and books

For a few hands-on activities, visit our Read it, Make it:  Arctic books & crafts!


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