Publishers Weekly STARRED
November 22, 2004
In Savage's striking compositions, a night lit by dazzling moonglow on "snow and sky and sea and ice" wakens a polar bear cub to a special adventure. Not knowing why she was somehow roused from sleep, where she lay next to her "warm, soft mother" in their den, the cub treks softly across the snow until she reaches a high drift. There, the cub witnesses a glittering star shower: "The stars are like snowflakes, falling, falling." After the natural light show, the cub heads back home and again snuggles into the warmth of her sleeping mother. Thompson's (Little Quack) phrasing emits a fittingly hushed quality and conveys a sense of wide-eyed wonder. Her nighttime Arctic imagery and soft repetition create a pleasingly soporific effect. Savage's (Making Tracks) crisp linocuts in a medley of icy bright blues, whites and purples and blacks contribute to a chilly yet soothing nocturnal landscape. The large shapes and frequent up-close perspective draw readers into the proceedings, while the rounded forms and friendly faces of various animals provide reassurance for the cuddly-looking cub in her wanderings. In Savage's velvety spreads, the darkness is quietly beautiful and never ominous. Ages 3-5. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
STARRED November 15, 2004
PreS-K. Joining Henkes' Kitten's First Full Moon BKL F 1 04 and Mo Willems' pigeon duet is another graphically minimalist yet utterly effective picture book for the very young. Snug inside her warm den, a polar bear cub wakes. Something in the moonlit stillness quietly beckons. What is it? The tug of this gentle mystery will draw children into Thompson's simple bedtime story, and the hypnotic ebb and flow of her alliterative lines (on a night that's keen and cold, little cub sets out for the snow and sky and sea and ice ) will keep children immersed as the young explorer encounters floating, dreaming sea creatures, and witnesses ashow more