Ice in the Jungle
By Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar
Published by Child’s Play-International
Age Range: 3+

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“…a solid depiction of the anxieties children face when moving…”  —School Library Journal

When Ice’s mother tells her that they’re going to move to an exciting new place, Ice isn’t so sure. She likes her home and her friends, and the fun they have together. The journey takes forever, and their new home is very strange. Everything is different – the weather, the food, the people and the language. Ice tries to make friends, but everyone seems too busy and preoccupied to care.

Will anything happen to help Ice feel more at home?

A charming debut picture book about the anxieties and hardships of moving, with a heart-warming, positive ending.

Reviews & Accolades
“Ice is a polar bear cub whose mother finds a new job in a most unlikely place for polar bears: the jungle. Sad at leaving her friends and a familiar home, Ice encounters a hot climate, classmates whose language she does not understand, and food she does not like; all of which only makes her feel worse. A hug and reassuring words from Mom enable Ice to try to make friends with her classmates the next day, but they are too busy. Too busy setting up a surprise party for Ice, that is! Happily, the book ends with Ice asking her mother if her new friends can come over and play the next day. Oddly, communication does not seem to be an issue any longer. But if polar bears can survive living in a hot jungle, eating bananas instead of their natural diet of meat, why quibble about jungle animals all speaking the same language regardless of species and Ice’s off-on ability to understand them? More important is the message about surviving a move and thriving in a new place. Navigating change is a universal topic, as is fitting in when you are different. These elements make the book appealing to all children. That Ice’s mother is both a single mom and a career sow makes the book special to children with one parent and to children whose mothers enjoy their professional careers. The illustrations are not overly detailed, use a varied color palette, and convey mood and expression. The book meets some of the Common Core Standards for Literature for grades K-2.”
Children’s Literature

“A polar bear named Ice and her mother move from the North Pole to the jungle, where everything from the weather to the food is different. Ice has a difficult time adjusting to her new home and making friends, until her classmates throw her a surprise “North Pole Party.” Hofmann-Maniyar’s debut picture book is a solid depiction of the anxieties children face when moving, particularly as Ice’s new home is so wildly different from her old home. Children, especially those who have just experienced a new move or started at a new school, will relate to Ice’s worries as she has trouble fitting into life in the jungle and making new friends. While Ice experiences a huge culture shock from moving to the Arctic to the jungle, the North Pole-themed party her classmates surprise her with is a reassuring reminder that Ice can still keep the memories and customs from her old home while making new memories in her new one. The ending is somewhat abrupt but serviceable and satisfying, as Ice is now excited to play with her new friends that she made at her party. The illustrations are bold and bright, including several spreads, and the change from the whites and blues of the North Pole to the more varied palette of the jungle is noticeable, reflecting the differences between the two environments. While this is a strong choice for children who are experiencing a move, this picture book’s vivid illustrations and simple text can also work as a read-aloud during a jungle-themed storytime.
School Library Journal

“A tiny polar bear must learn how to cope after moving. Ice loves her tundra friends, snowy hills, and polar treats. But her mom gets a new job far away, and suddenly Ice must leave everything that she knows. In her new home, vegetation grows thick and green, animals eat strange yellow fruit with a peel, and it is hot. Very, very hot. Ice feels isolated and alone. She can’t even understand what her classmates are saying! Ice tries to make friends, but everyone seems standoffish—until Ice realizes they are busy creating a surprise to make her feel welcome. This chunky little bear (who looks precisely like a chiseled block of ice) slowly finds her way through the anxieties of moving to a new place. One of the most endearing sentiments important for parents to remember: “Only her mother’s hug felt the same as always.” Hofmann-Maniyar, in her picture-book debut, explores a difficult transition that many children face, using a metaphor that rings true. A child experiencing any type of move, whether across the world or across the town, certainly can feel like a polar bear being plopped smack in the middle of a jungle! Comforting to the littlest of ones who find themselves in a change of surroundings.”
Kirkus Reviews

Groups Represented
Many animal species

Cross-Group Friendship
Cultural Differences
Cultural Identity
Migrant Life
Multicultural Friendship

The Jungle

Engagement Projects & Resources
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