Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 8 to 11
- Grade: 3 to 6
A Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice selection, 2005
Shortlisted for the 2006 Alberta Children's Choice Book Awardp align=left">During a cold November blizzard on the coast of northern Labrador, a female polar bear heads inland to find a suitable den to give birth to her young. Soon Tooga and his sister Apoon are born, and several months go by before the little ones venture outside of the protection of the den. But although they can now depend on their mother for everything, over the next year the young polar bears have much to learn before they can live on their own.
When Tooga is ready to hunt for himself, he wanders farther away from his mother and sister - out onto the pack ice where the seals congregate. But when he heads inland again, he discovers nothing but water in every direction. The pack ice has broken up and Tooga is on a huge ice floe and drifting south. By the time the floe finds land again, the young polar bear is 500 miles from home. Confused and starving, Tooga must find his way back through an unfamiliar landscape, and face a new threat he has never encounter before - man.
About the authors
Shirley Woods always loved nature. After leaving school he served for three years in the Royal Canadian Regiment. After that he was a businessman, which is when he wrote seven non-fiction books, including The Squirrels of Canada for the National Museum. In order to devote more time to writing, Mr. Woods retired in 1989 and moved to Nova Scotia. He and his wife Sandrea live in the country near Halifax. Their house, which they share with four dogs, is on a hill overlooking the sea.
Muriel Wood's illustrations have appeared in a number of children's books, including Old Bird, L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, and Margaret Laurence's The Olden Day's Coat. She has also illustrated the three previous titles in the New Beginnings series, Scared Sarah, Lizzie's Storm, and Aram's Choice. A former instructor at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, Muriel now draws and paints fulltime. She lives with her husband and two cats in Toronto, Ontario.
"Stories told from an animal's perspective can either be wonderfully engaging or rapidly tiresome. Shirley Woods manages to pull it off beautifully in Tooga: The Story of A Polar Bear"
-- January Magazine