A mother’s gently rhyming answer to her child’s “when will I be big?”
The roly-poly panda cub’s mother’s reply is less an answer than a celebration of how much Pip has already grown as the seasons have changed. “Once this tree was smaller too. // And the stars above were just a few…. // Birdy was all bright and new / and Blankie covered all of you.” The cub’s paw prints were tiny in the snow, flowers bloomed, and pine cones rained down. The watercolor illustrations have a bit of an Asian flavor—the petals are cherry blossoms, the boats on the water look like sampans, and there are snow-covered mountains and Eastern lanterns. But while clearly mother and child, the pandas’ emotional expressions are subtle instead of obvious, making the final line rather thin: “Like all these things and just like you… // my love for you has grown bigger too.” Also, the vignettes picturing the growth of an evergreen show it progressing from less than a foot in height to more than 5 feet tall in the little time that has passed since the panda’s birth. Similarly, the line about stars being just a few does not take into account astronomical reality.
Skip. (Picture book. 3-6)