Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World

Book review by
Dawn Friedman, Common Sense Media
Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World Book Poster Image
Cub's zoo care caught on camera; educational and oh so cute.

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 3+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Lots of information on what polar bears need to grow up healthy and strong, plus a glimpse of the responsibilities of a devoted zoo keeper. There is also an introduction to the importance of maintaining the polar bears' natural habitat.

Positive Messages

Shows people taking responsibility for an orphaned animal despite the intense commitment his care requires.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Knut's caregiver, Thomas, remains committed to Knut even though staying by his side is an exhausting and intensive endeavor.

Violence & Scariness

A mention that Knut couldn't be taken care of by his mother.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Knut is a polar bear cub whose mother couldn't care for him so some rather tireless and exemplary zookeepers took over. This book is both educational for kids wanting to know more about animal care at the zoo, and very cute and cuddly for younger kids more interested in the pictures.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 3 and 7-year-old Written bykitkat2 February 26, 2011

A captivating documentary for animal lovers

An absolutely wonderful tale for children who love nature films and documentaries. It is very educational and informative. The Bear cub is incredibly cute. Ther... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old July 8, 2010


wonderful book for little kids!

What's the story?

When polar bear Knut was born at Zoo Berlin in Germany, his mother, Tosca, couldn't care for him so zookeeper Thomas had to step in to raise him. Taking care of a newborn polar bear is a lot of work and the book details Thomas' day-to-day routine with lots of photographs of the actual Knut. When Knut finally makes his public debut, people from all over the world wanted to know more about the adorable bear, which helped raise awareness about the wild polar bear's shrinking habitat. Includes end notes with a wealth of additional information about polar bears.

Is it any good?

Readers will love this beautifully photographed book about a real live polar bear cub and the zookeeper who raised him. What kid isn't fascinated by the idea of having your very own wild animal pet? They'll be impressed by the work it takes to raise a bear cub to independence and will love the adorable pictures of the actual Knut growing up.

There's lots of text for skilled readers, but kids with short attention spans can glean a great deal from looking over the many photographs and reading the captions. All readers will spend a fair amount of time saying "awwww..." and "what a cutie."

Sterling photographs of growing Knut and his loving caretaker, Thomas, are animated and adorable. Kids will fall in love with fluffy Knut and get a real sense of his day-to-day life growing up.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Knut's care. It's a lot of work -- almost as much as raising a newborn child! Kids can discuss whether or not they might want to work in a zoo like Thomas and if they think caring for a bear cub sounds like fun.

  • Polar bears live in the Arctic. What other animals live there? Head to the library and learn more about the animals who make their home in some of the most desolate places on earth.

  • Kids can learn more about other kinds of bears. How are polar bears different from grizzlies or brown bears? How are they the same? Make a poster about different kinds of bears and what they have in common.

  • Kids can learn more about global warming and what they can do to protect polar bears' habitat. Perhaps they can make a list of ordinary things we all can do to help take care of the planet -- like recycle and turn off lights when we leave the room -- and post it on the 'fridge.

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love bears

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