(Photo courtesy of the author)Alexandria, VA, Review: Rozanne Tracks Polar Bears at the Edge of the Arctic
Author: Rozanne Weissman
Photography Credits: Weissman, Lianne Thompson (NHA) and Daniel Raiti
Publisher: Bethesda Communication Group
Reviewed by: Ralph Peluso, Literary Editor
Zebra Rating: 5 Stripes
OK, this time she is not kissing a giraffe in Africa, but Rozanne Weissman is back with a new and equally captivating children’s book, Rozanne Tracks Polar Bears at the Edge of the Arctic. I asked Rozanne why she writes children’s books.
“Children are scared now and always,” said Rozanne. “Families can use my books to tap into the imagination of and center their focus on positive aspects of the future with questions like, What animals do you want to see when we go to the zoo? Why? Does our state have a ‘Safari’? Where might you want to travel when you’re older? I want my books to unleash their imaginations!”
Her first work, “Rozanne Travels to Africa to Kiss a Giraffe (2019),” connected deeply within each child’s heart, igniting their innocent but widening sense of intellectual curiosity. She provided a fascinating and unique account of the interaction between her and nature’s elegant but ungainly giraffe.
When Ms. Weissman described her intimate and fun encounter, right down to kissing a giraffe, to youngsters, everything in that moment was real. She connected the giraffe to them and opened their world to a wider imagination. “When I described the similarity in the interaction between a mother elephant and her calf, and other mammals, including humans, their eyes lit up,” Rozanne continued.
Fast Forward to Polar Bears, in which Rozanne chronicles her 4th wildlife adventure. The imagery of the work’s fantastic photos increases the interest and curiosity of young readers. Rozanne’s work magically transports children to this remote area of Canada, where they can see the polar bears and start to understand the threats that polar bears face, natural and man-made.
Churchill, Canada, sits on the west shore of Hudson Bay, roughly 87 miles from the provincial borders of Manitoba–Nunavut. Numerous polar bears migrate toward the nearby shore from inland in the fall months, lending to the area’s nickname “Polar Bear Capital of the World.”
Rozanne also fills her work with details about polar bears’ lives. For example, there is a Polar Bear jail in Churchill. Polar bears are dangerous and roam into the town from time to time. Once captured, the polar bear is fed only water for five days, discouraging it from returning.
Throughout the book, Rozanne finds a way to connect each vital detail to the readers. In one picture, Rozanne stands in front of the polar penitentiary with an identifying orange scarf around her neck! “I had to stand out. All of us on this adventure were bundled in similar cold-weather gear. That orange scarf gave children a way to identify me!” Rozanne said.
Here are a few polar bear fun facts: Polar bears have black skin that matches their nose. Polar bear cubs are born with a pink tongue that turns blue, purple, or black. Polar bears can smell prey more than half a mile away—even under ice! This is not good for the ringtail seals, their favorite food. Polar bears often go nearly six months without food. Penguins and Polar Bears cannot coexist. Don’t be troubled; they live on opposite ends of the world. The biggest threat to polar bears is the long-term climate trend of warmer temperatures, which causes sea ice to form later and melt earlier.
Before becoming a children’s book author, Rozanne was a top marketing communications executive and head of her consultancy, Rozanne Weissman & Associates. She won more than 60 national and international marketing/ communications awards for employers and clients for creativity and design.
What’s next for Rozanne? “If I had my druthers,” the author told me recently, “I’d go back to see chimpanzees and gorillas. Have an experience on the order of noted primatologists Jane Goodall and Dian Fosse. You know, be a thousand miles from civilization and connect with other primates.” Rozanne promised to keep us posted on the progress of her aspirations.
Rozanne Tracks Polar Bears at Edge of Arctic, the author’s second book, continues with her unique style that connects with children on their terms. She uses real wildlife stories, photos, and a few emojis that make children feel like they are there. Zebra rating 5 STRIPES.