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The World of the Polar Bear

by Norbert Rosing

“The Arctic experience in winter is mostly about learning to love the cold,” a young Inuk told Norbert Rosing at a Winnipeg library in February 1983. “Luckily, you don’t have to go all the way to Resolute Bay to find it. Just take the train north to Churchill.”

Rosing, a German nature photographer, has been visiting Churchill, Manitoba, and the surrounding area regularly since that first serendipitous trip. The World of the Polar Bear features many of the photographs he has taken there. Vast, chilled tundra, mystical skyscapes, and, of course, polar bears fill the pages of this book with a majesty that is not easily translated to words.

The photographs track a year in the Arctic, following polar bears as they leave their dens in the spring, journey to the ice, and encounter other Arctic animals. The captions that accompany the photographs are straightforward and succinct, and leave Rosing’s striking images to evoke the cold, unrelenting beauty of Canada’s North on their own merit. Rosing writes modestly of his patience in the accompanying text, but from the sheer volume of perfectly timed shots, it’s clear that his patience is saintly.