This debut is a treacly tribute to a mother polar bear’s love for her child.
Gentle, rhyming verse that too often fails in its rhythm both outlines how a mother’s love helps her child grow and describes how the child spends his day. “Big bear hugs, morning, noon, and night. / Momma’s love helps Baby soar like a kite. / Adventures will help Baby Bear learn and grow. / Even when he plays in the snow.” From sliding on the snow and making snow angels to learning how to share and put away toys, Sagendorph tries to pack too much into a story that is already lacking in cohesion—instead of following the pair sequentially through a day, it feels like a hodgepodge of snapshots and lessons. And with verses such as, “When Baby Bear puts away his toys, / Momma Bear is filled with lots of joy,” the lackluster text fails to impress. Siebold’s illustrations are simple in a lovely way, suiting the youngest of listeners. The barest of details outline the bears, and the spreads are primarily white and shades of greenish-blue.
This doesn’t even come close to the many great bedtime/lullaby books out there with a similar “Mommy loves you” theme. (Picture book. 2-5)