cover image Me and My Dad!

Me and My Dad!

Alison Ritchie, , illus. by Alison Edgson. . Good Books, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56148-565-9

Ritchie (What Bear Likes Best! ) introduces one lucky cub: his daddy bear is a bit goofy (he likes to play in the rain), confidently protective (his thick coat makes a good hiding place during a thunderstorm), always ready for adventure (whether it's swimming in the river or exploring the forests) and a great storyteller. "My dad is the best/ daddy bear there could be," reads the text, as the young ursine narrator and his father cuddle under a blanket. "We're together forever—/my dad and me." Edgson (The Emperor's New Clothes ) lifts this familiar tribute book above the ordinary with her impressionistic settings and backgrounds. The artist portrays the rain-drenched forest, for example, through gradations of gauzy lavenders, blues and yellows, while only hinting at the trees. At the same time, her bears possess a strong sense of physicality and strength. Their coats may be golden and velvety, but their surprisingly lanky bodies exude an easygoing boisterousness that feels distinctly, authentically and joyfully male. Ages 3-7. (May)