Lindsay Moore, who has an MS in medical and scientific illustration, blends her backgrounds with stunning success in her debut picture book, the quietly powerful Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival.
Sea Bear takes its readers on an informative journey with a polar bear narrator leading the way. The poetic rhythm of the text marches along with the Arctic odyssey, telling young readers that "a polar bear can outwait almost anything--/ seals,/ storms,/ and long, sunless winters." But "a bear at sea needs something to stand on." Thus begins Moore's subtle discussion of the realities of climate change and its effects on the magnificent bear. "There is not enough ice left to hunt on," her narrative continues. "Each day there is less ice to stand on."
Moore's experience with marine biology infuses her content as well as the realism of the imagery. As the polar bear swims with aquatic creatures like the star-skinned narwhals, walruses and whales, readers experience a faithful and exciting visual tour of the ocean. The rich colors and textures of the Arctic environment are so lifelike, they might even elicit shivering. Moore's illustrations also work to emphasize both the enormity of the region and the environmental crisis through striking images that often dwarf the massive polar bear.
Moore's picture book is more than a lesson--her passion, creativity and skill make Sea Bear an emotional work likely to ensure that the effects of climate change resonate with the reader. "Polar bears are not land bears," her text states. "We wait on land./ We hope on land." Etched atop an illustration of the bear with her cubs, Moore finishes with a delicate plea for action: "We know how to hope and how to wait." --Jen Forbus, freelancer