“Byrd & Igloo: A Polar Adventure” by Samantha Seiple; Scholastic Press, $18.99 (Ages 8 to 12).

A puppy abandoned on the streets of Washington, D.C., became famous as the only dog to explore both the North and South Poles in this fascinating story of explorer and aviator Richard Byrd and his dog Igloo. The author researched letters, diaries, interviews, newspaper clippings and records of the expeditions to tell this fascinating story complete with photos. (One photo shows Igloo wearing his snowsuit made of camel’s hair wool.) Many of the details are about Igloo’s doggy explorations (nearly falling overboard, challenging and getting nipped by Eskimo huskies, playing with penguins). Byrd had an adventurous spirit from childhood (traveling at 13 on his own to visit a friend in the Philippines, and then alone through Asia, Europe and Africa). He took Igloo along on his explorations in 1926, competing with Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (flying a dirigible) to be the first to fly over the North Pole, and then on the 1929 Antarctic expedition.

– Jean Westmoore


Kids ages 5 to 12 can decorate a pumpkin at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Lafayette Square, from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 858-8900 or visit


G’day, mate! Welcome to the land down under! Many people refer to Australia as the “land down under” because it is entirely located south of the equator.

– Time for Kids Big Book of Why