cover image In a Minute, Mama Bear

In a Minute, Mama Bear

Rachel Bright. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-374-30578-9

Mama Bear is short on time and has a long to-do list, but all her daughter Bella wants to do is dawdle—even on the potty, Bella will not be rushed. By the time they’re finally in the car, Mama Bear’s patience is gone, and she’s turned into a shouting, honking driver. Then she notices that her daughter is genuinely alarmed: strapped into her car seat, her averted eyes as big as saucers, the slowpoke who was so frustrating suddenly seems small and vulnerable. Mama chucks the list (“This doesn’t have to be a race”) and heads to the park: “No classes, errands, rush, or fuss./ Slides and swings and snacks,/... all day—just the two of us!’” Bright handles the very real issue of the overscheduled family with good humor and sympathetic characters, drawn in her signature scraggly style, which is as expressive of harried domestic life as the text itself. She also ends with a satisfying role reversal—after Mama hops on the bandwagon, it’s little Bella who tells Mama it’s time to go home. Ages 2–7. [em](Feb.) [/em]