cover image Baby Bear Sees Blue

Baby Bear Sees Blue

Ashley Wolff. S&S/Beach Lane, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-1306-1

Wolff’s (Compost Stew) watercolor-tinted linocuts make each page of this story simultaneously cozy and dramatic—cozy because they star a fuzzy bear cub and his mother, and dramatic because each one contrasts dark shapes with washes of light and color. This is Baby Bear’s first spring, and everything is new to him. “Who is warming me, Mama?” Baby Bear asks, clambering over his mother to get a better look at the light outside. “That is the sun,” his mother tells him. At the cave entrance, golden sunbeams stream in—“Baby Bear sees yellow”—and Baby Bear is shown in silhouette as he sits just where the cave’s blackness meets the light of the outside world. The line “Baby Bear sees” is repeated for the brown of a trout, the blue of a jay, the red of a strawberry, and more, linking every color to something in the natural world. Children will be absorbed by the complex textures of Wolff’s linocuts, the Japanese woodblock–style graded shades of the sky, and the reassuring comfort of a world that is always safely guarded by Mama Bear. Ages 2–6. (Feb.)