Sunday, June 14, 2015

Look, It's Kali! An Experience & Book Review

If you live anywhere near the Saint Louis Zoo, you need to make a trip to see the polar bear, Kali (pronounced Cully).  He is a very inquisitive and playful 2 1/2-year-old that just happens to weigh 850 lbs!  That isn't even his adult weight.  

Zoo members got a special preview day of Polar Bear Point the Friday before the exhibit opened. It was exciting--I kept wanting to go back to the area. What a sight to see!  Glass walls make the experience of being close to Kali more realistic.  The dive pool, coastline, and tundra landscape gives one's eye plenty to take in. One of the parts I love is the video playing on the screens in the top corners of Polar Bear Point of an Alaska Native people talking about their livelihood and their relationship to polar bears.

Kali's Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue by Jennifer Keats Curtis is a nonfiction photographic narrative of Kali's early life (a LOT happened before he turned 2 1/2).  It begins when a hunter kills a polar bear not realizing she is a nursing mother.  The hunter searches for the cub and brings him to the local village, Kali.  So begins Kali's amazing journey from Alaska to the Buffalo Zoo to the Saint Louis Zoo.  The photographs themselves are good documentation.

Kids will be are fascinated by Kali's story and to see his growth from a cub to now.  The book won CBC's Children's Choice Book Awards.  A good addition to an Arctic unit or an animal research paper.  Visit the publisher site for extras.

Book image from

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