Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr): Vroom! by Barbara McClintock

No Place Like Home

George isn't happy. He never smiles or speaks to anyone. He's a "grump" who doesn't "even like ice cream." What the polar bear really needs is "to go back home," though he can't remember where that should be. George leaves the city and tries the jungle, only to discover he's not a fan of "sleeping in trees." He tries a mountaintop, but isn't happy about heights; tries the hot desert, but gets thirsty. When George reaches the sea, he rows "sadly for days and days."

Eventually, he finds a place where he's not "grumpy anymore"--a place so "cold and covered with ice" that it feels perfect for a polar bear. Ronojoy Ghosh's winsome illustrations depict a sweet-looking George (despite being a grump), who is accompanied on his quest by some equally appealing tiny birds. George and bird-friends can be "sure of one thing. There is no place like home." --Lynn Becker, blogger and host of Book Talk, a monthly online discussion of children's books for SCBWI