Follow the rescue of orphaned polar bear Kali (pronounced Cully) from the Inupiat village of Kali (Point Lay in English) to the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage to his new home at the Buffalo Zoo in New York with Luna, a female polar bear. This photographic journey beautifully captures the remarkable development of the cub, who initially drinks from a baby bottle, sucks his paw for comfort, and sleeps with a “blankie” as he rapidly grows into the largest land carnivore on earth.
Written by Jennifer Keats Curtis Illustrated by John Gomes
Vetters: Thanks to staff at the Alaska Zoo for reviewing the accuracy of the information in this book.
"After the death of its mother, a polar bear cub won’t be able to survive in the wild. He’s rescued by residents of the Inupiat village of Kali (who name him after their village) and sent to the Alaska Zoo, where employees teach Kali to eat solid foods, and where he learns to swim. Gomes’s scattered photographs create both an albumlike effect and a sort of visual narrative as Kali plays, explores, and naps. Though Kali’s permanent home ends up being at the Buffalo Zoo, rather than in the wild, readers should enjoy seeing a grown-up Kali find a companion in another polar bear named Luna. Supplemental material provides facts about polar bears’ habitats, characteristics, and life cycles. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)" -Publishers Weekly
"Orphaned Alaska polar bear cub star of new children's book: Kali, a 14-month old polar bear cub from Point Lay, on Alaska's Arctic coast, is the subject of a new children's book, "Kali's Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue." Kali spent three months at the Alaska Zoo in early 2013 after his mother was killed by a hunter before being sent to the Buffalo Zoo. The book, written by Jennifer Keats Curtis, doesn’t detail the cub's difficult start in life -- instead it focuses on the plight of polar bears in general and how the Kali came to live in Western New York." Alaska Dispatch
"Very young readers or those just listening will find Kali's story, 25 pages of pictures and commentary, a captivating journey to be enjoyed over and over again. Color photographs go hand-in-glove with the clearly written prose, making early readers feel part of Kali's rescue." Science Books & Films
John Gomes’ passion for photography is evident through his nature and Alaskan-focused images. A self-taught photographer going back to the “manual” camera days, John’s photos capture Alaskan life including mushing (sled-dog racing) and rodeos. John has been the Alaska Zoo’s official volunteer photographer for over ten years and has spent countless hours capturing magnificent images of baby and adult animals, including bears, goats, coyotes, foxes, and porcupines. To see more of John’s photos, visit his website at www.akjohn.com.
CBC Children's Choice Book Awards 2015 Winner
ILA-CBC Children's Choices Reading List 2015
Green Earth Book Award Shortlist in children's nonfiction
South Carolina Picture Book Award Nominee 2015-2016
KNEA Reading Circle Catalog selection
Children's eBook Award bronze award in non-fiction