“Polar Bear Night”
by Lauren Thompson
If you’re looking for a picture book and music
experience to express the joy and peace of the
holiday season, “Polar Bear Night” will delight
your students with its starry winter magic.
This is one of my all-time favorite children’s
books, although it was written fairly recently, by
Lauren Thompson, the author of the popular
“Mouse’s First…” series. The story is a very
simple one, about a little polar bear cub who
goes out to explore the nighttime world. She
sees the animals in the water, sleeping quietly
in the moonlight. And then a star shower lights
up the night with magical sweetness. The story
ends with the tired little cub going home to
curl up with her mommy.
The illustrations, by Stephen Savage, are
perfect for young children – simple, accessible,
I make this book a musical experience by
reading it with “Aquarium,” from “Carnival of
the Animals” by Camille Saint-Saens, as
background. This piece could have been
written with this book in mind! Not only does
it take up the exact amount of time that it
takes to read the book at a relaxed pace, but
a gorgeous, enchanting piano solo coincides
with the cub’s return to her home.
Whenever I read this book to this music, my
young students are absolutely entranced – even
the loudest, rowdiest children are caught up
in the magic.