A mama polar bear and her cub are looking at the moon sailing in the arctic sky. The cub asks why the moon is floating. Mama replies, “Moon floats up there to say good night to polar bears.” Mama continues to explain and the cub keeps interrupting with the question, “Mama, why?” Parents and children will easily recognize this dynamic. Young children can ask hundreds of questions a day, and there are a significant number of books that mimic this. What sets this one apart is that it is simply gorgeous.
All of mama’s replies to Polar Cub’s question of why, are written in simple, lyrical rhymes that are really a lullaby. Mama says, “So now, little one, let’s rest our heads, and dream moonbeams in a star dust bed. I’ll dream of my dearest the whole night through.” Polar Cub asks, “Mama, who?” “Mama whispers softly, You.” Mama, Why? is filled with beautiful language that is deceptively simple, yet elegant and eloquent.
The illustrations by Mendez are luminous, and fraught with emotion. Mama and her cub are drawn realistically, but body positions and facial expressions make them seem human. The perspectives are amazing, the use of light reminiscent of 19th Century Luminism.
This is a wonderful choice for bedtime or anytime.
Check the WRL catalog for Mama, Why?