A day of outdoor fun prompts a big question to Momma Bear from her two young cubs.
Cub Jacob tags Momma—"You're it!"—and the game is afoot. These bears are reasonably shaggy but anthropomorphic; Momma wears a large red-and-white apron, Jacob's in a bright blue sweater, and his sister Casey has on a red dress. Jacob throws Momma a curve when he suddenly asks, "Who do you love best?" Casey wants to know the answer to this as well. Momma answers slowly. She loves the way that Jacob makes art, and how Casey dances and that both of them make her laugh. The children make funny faces until they send themselves into gales of helpless laughter, but when that subsides, they come back at Momma with the same question. She thinks a bit before tackling it again. "You're both a part of me,…like my paws. How can I love one of my paws more than the other?" She needs them both. Or maybe they're like her legs or her arms. She needs both her arms to give them big hugs. At last the cubs get it: Momma Bear loves them both the best. She scoops them up in a big hug. "With all my heart," she says. The bright illustrations and extra-sturdy pages suit a very young readership, as does the accessible prose.
Sweet and apt, but slight. For another, more artful ursine exploration of the same question, try Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram's You're All My Favorites (2004). (Picture book. 3-5)