While not poetically perfect, this is an undeniably sweet salute to the enduring nature of parent-child bonds.
Warm and lovely watercolor illustrations of an adult bear and cub, both genderless, enjoying special moments of togetherness make this sentimental celebration of family work. Snuggling, picnicking, singing, and dancing together are beautifully rendered and expressed. Boylan also specifically references the strength of the family relationship as a support for the all-too-familiar phenomenon of separation anxiety in a very calm and reassuring way. “Because me and you”—grammar aside—“are true friends through-and-through, / you know all that I have we can share. / Like the thoughts that I think and I keep in my bank / for the times I know you won’t be there.” This theme is reiterated at the end: “So the times you’re alone or times I’m not at home / and you feel your heart starting to fuss, / borrow these thoughts and make them your own / and then think all these things about us.” The final image is the cub sleeping peacefully, dreaming of snuggles, and secure that they are loved. The tone is forgivably syrupy and effusive at times, but it often strikes just the right note: “I love when we have quiet time all alone, / when there’s no one around for a while. / And when I look at you and then you look at me / and we just take a moment and smile.”
Lovely to look at and sweet in sentiment if a little shaky in poetic expression. (Board book. 1-5)