A polar bear cub experiences her first adventures outside the security of the den—but still seeks her mother’s reassuring presence.
When Cub exuberantly tumbles down a slope, she’s separated from her (still watchful) mother. Seeking Mom’s remembered black nose, she instead encounters a squawking raven, an ermine’s black-tipped tail and a diving harp seal. In elegantly simple language, Thomson conveys the acute dependency of the toddler: “The world was too big for a cub with no mom.” Two page turns later, the playful reunion’s complete—with a sneak peek at Mom for observant children. Cepeda’s full-bleed acrylic-and-oil paintings utilize the (unreferenced) northern lights for a vibrant color palette of azure, lavender and green. The snowscape, influenced by the morphing light show, is alternately ice-blue, pale gray-green, ecru and mauve. Painterly strokes lend texture and weight to Cub and his adventure; shifting perspectives ensure that the snowy terrain looks ever-exciting.
Thomson’s personification of Mom and Cub, along with her measured, soothing text, make for an agreeable, affirming story for both one-on-one and group sharing. (Picture book. 2-6)