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Hardcover Polar: The Titanic Bear Book

ISBN: 0316806250

ISBN13: 9780316806251

Polar: The Titanic Bear

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Written for her son by an American heiress whose family survived the 1912 sinking of the "Titanic", this account of the Edwardian life and of the disaster is told through the eyes of the young boy's... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Titanic

I have loved this book for years and was happy to find it to pass on to a little friend that loves reading about the Titanic. Bitter sweat story - lovely illustrations! Bassed on a true story.

A book with so much to offer!

This book has much to offer, for young readers and for adults. It is a wonderful glimpse into history, told from the perspective of a Steiff polar bear, who is very much a part of the life of young Douglas Spedden. His family's travels and his young life unfold in a beautiful text that is illustrated with sensitive illustrations and historical photographs. The Speddens traveled on the ill-fated Titanic. The incredible drama of that event unfolds in the most personal narrative. The magnficent beauty of the ship is conveyed as the family enjoys its commodious luxury. The drama of its sinking is compelling as well as touching in the describtion of the heartbreaking separation of Polar from young Douglas. This is how a young child would remember such an event. Fortunately, Polar is found and reunited with his friend.The story behind the story is as wondeful as the book itself. Leighton H. Coleman III found this wonderful manuscript in his grandfather's barn. It was written by his cousin, Daisy Spedden. How brilliant of a mother to convert a traumatizing event into a story for her little boy! Her tender insight, the wonder of discovery and the perfect blending of history and narrative--ocean liners, wonderful bears--all of these components make this a perfect children's book that is both educational and entertaining (for parents, too!). I have given scores of copies to my friends with children and to my many adult friends who are fascinated by ocean liners and the Titanic. The book is well-crafted with much to offer.

Precious

To me, "Polar, The Titanic Bear" is a precious book because it has so many fascinating dimensions to it. On the one hand, it is a charmingly written children's story about a child's stuffed polar bear and the journeys it takes with it's master around the world, culminating ultimately aboard the Titanic. Second, it is a must have for Titanic scholars as it provides us with insight into the Spedden family that traveled in First Class and survived the disaster by getting into Boat #3. The father, Frederic Spedden, was one of the few First Class male passengers who was so fortunate as so many other men that night died.But finally, there is the extra poignance that this story takes on because of what it ultimately represents, and that is the love of a mother for her son in writing this book and presenting it to him as a Christmas gift, as Daisy Spedden did for eight year old Douglas. The closing narration of Polar reflects the hopes and wishes all parents have for their children, "I hope he will be blessed with a long and happy life" and then you find out that Douglas, after surviving the Titanic, lost his life just a year later at age nine when he was struck by a car while at his parents summer home. Only the hardest of hard-hearted people could not be moved to tears by learning that. In the end, as we read ultimately of how the Speddens were able to move on from this tragedy in their lives, this helps make "Polar" filled with more insights for adults than the average children's book might have. No Titanic enthusiast can afford to be without this book.

One of the Best Children's Books Around!

I think this is an excellent way to present the Titanic story to children. The story is told from Polar's point of view which helps to hold the children's attention. I am an elementary education major and I just read this book in one of my classes at my university for a project. I read it with the Titanic Suite playing in the background. I do not think one classmate of mine blinked during my entire presentation. This book is also wonderful for children because it does not focus on the devastation of the Titanic voyage, but rather the joyous times between a bear, his master, and his family.

An insight into the true tragedy of the Titanic!

Leighton H. Coleman III rummaging in the attic is a true "find". Daisy Corning Spedden's story to her son displays for us an era gone by as well as recreating life on the Titanic. In addition to the tragedy of too few lifeboats aboard we are witness to the tragic results of class differences cuttingly displayed by the woman in the lifeboat's remark about how more first class passengers would have been saved if they hadn't given any space to steerage passengers. This perhaps is the true tragedy of the Titanic, the sacrificing of the lives of women and children in steerage to accomodate the first class passengers. Perhaps, it is also a social commentary of the time.I read this book, as well as naarated a historical background to my daughter's second grade class at the time the book was first published. There was not a dry eye. This was due perhaps more to the understanding of the social differences and their consequences than to the actual sinking.This is a wonderful book with much potential for teachers of younger grade levels. It will also entertain the adult. Accompanied by wonderful original photographs as well as watercolours, it's a captivating book for both young and old and one that will be worn with use.Daisy Corning Spedden seemed to have been a remarkable woman and we are indebted to her contribution to history as well as literature. This book is definitely award winning material. In its subtle way it is a powerhouse for discussion.

A children's book for all ages.

Having read virtually dozens of books on the RMS Titanic, I figured a children's book on the topic to be entertaining at best, but certainly not informative. Polar the Titanic Bear was written by Daisy Corning Stone Spedden as a Christmas gift to her son, Douglas. The book chronicles a period of approximately two years in the life of the family's 6 year old son from the point of view of his new teddy bear, Polar. The story begins with Polar's assembly in one of the finer toy stores in North America. Polar is placed on display in a store and purchased as a Christmas gift for Douglas. The reader is then sent on various journeys throughout the world with the Spedden family, culminating with their voyage on and subsequent rescue from the Titanic. What makes this book most appealing is the real life glance into the lifestyle of the affluent family prior to the Depression. Because it was written by a mother to her child with no intention to publish, there is no fluff or marketing appeal added. This book is, in effect, a true-life diary of Pre World War I America complete with pictures from the author's own collection. The book is a touching display of motherly affection for her child. It ends with an epilogue (added for publication) detailing the years following the book's creation. The ending is emotional and sadly tragic. Though written for children, Polar the Titanic Bear is a touching story for readers of all ages and interests.
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