Article, Book Resources
Knut Book Focus
Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5
Knut was a polar bear who lived at the Berlin Zoo in Germany. Knut was rejected by his mother at birth and was raised by zookeeper Thomas Dorflein to the delight of tens of thousands of people who visited the zoo each day. Almost overnight Knut has become the face of global warming and emerged as a symbol for a greener world as scientists have issued warnings that the polar bear will soon be extinct if radical measures are not taken. The telegenic bear cub appeared on the cover of the Vanity Fair "Green" Issue with Leonardo DiCaprio and was also published in People magazine headlined as "The Cutest Animal Ever!" and "Happy Knut Year!"
Craig Hatkoff, along with his two best-selling co-author daughters Juliana, 12, and Isabella, 8, in cooperation with the Berlin Zoo, wrote the book. Hatkoff has penned five children's books with his daughters, including the best-selling Owen & Mzee books (with Isabella): Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship (Scholastic 2006) and Owen & Mzee: The Language of Friendship (Scholastic 2007). Both books have appeared on the bestseller list at the same time. Knut is the first book that they all wrote together.
"We have been writing children's books as a family activity since Juliana was five," said Craig Hatkoff, Turtle Pond Publications founder. Juliana's first book with her father also became a New York Times best seller. "Having been through an incredible journey with the publication of the Owen and Mzee series, Knut is a very logical next project for us and is a story the three of us could all do together. The power of Knut as an inspirational icon for an environmentally conscious world creates a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness of the issues in the global climate debate. As a symbol, Knut can help establish an optimistic mindset about creating solutions. We are thrilled and honored to be partnering with the Berlin Zoo that has shown an enormous commitment to playing a leading role about respecting the world's habitats. We are hoping that a little polar bear can help the world de-polarize the complex issues."