Wolff captures a young child’s unending curiosity of the world, weaving in an identification of colors, all with perfect pacing for young children. As Baby Bear and his mother explore the early-spring forest and meadow around them, the young cub asks question after question: “Who is warming me, Mama?, “Who is waving to me, Mama?” “Mama! Who splashed me?” Mama patiently tells her cub about each thing—the sun, the leaves, the trout—introducing her youngster to the world and each special color. Wolff’s woodcut illustrations were clearly inspired by the mother bear and cub in Blueberries for Sal (McCloskey, Viking, 1948). Wolff uses her signature linoleum woodcuts to create intricate details in each picture. She then paints each scene with watercolors, imbuing Baby Bear’s world with brilliant colors that radiate joy. Perfectly paced for very young children just beginning to explore the world around them.
Mary Ann Scheuer, Emerson School