cover image I’ll Be Your Polar Bear

I’ll Be Your Polar Bear

Justin Roberts, illus. by Chuck Groenink. Putnam, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-51639-2

Tender rhymes communicate a caregiver’s bear-size love in this wintry picture book. As night falls, a light-skinned adult and child venture forth on a snowy walk that soon turns blustery, prompting reassuring lines: “And if you get caught/ in who knows where—// then I’ll be your polar bear.” Groenink’s azure scenes, captured with acrylic paint, graphite, and digital techniques, offer a literal interpretation, showing the subjects transformed into furry-looking polar bears as they ice skate figure eights, shelter in a cave, and observe a yellow and pink aurora. Throughout, lines stress the constancy of the narrator’s love even in the face of hardship, comforting that “if rain begins to fall,/ and shadows start to spread,// I will always be your polar bear,/ stretched out overhead.” When the evening’s adventures come to a close, the pair change back, but the memory of their loving bond lingers. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)