In this picture book about exploring the big snowy world, a tiny polar bear learns that she can be brave—especially with Mom close by.
“Mom was big and white and warm,” writes Thomson (Around the Neighborhood: A Counting Lullaby), and even though Cepeda paints the polar bear’s fur in buttery yellow, his thick, bold brushstrokes instantly convey the totality of a mother’s embrace: “Inside the world were Mom and Cub. And that was all.” One day, Mom and Cub venture out of their den, and amid all the wonders Cub realizes how easy it is to lose Mom. Even the one thing that makes Mom stand out in a “white, white world”—the black of her nose—can’t be counted on: ermine have black tails, and seals have black noses. Cepeda (The Tortoise or the Hare) continually reveals the landscape from different angles and with surprising colors; in the seal vignette, he looks up at Cub as she peeks through a hole in the ice into the green-blue water below. Thomson’s calm voice makes it clear that Mom’s absence is only temporary, so readers can or snuggle up and relish this big polar world, gorgeously and inventively imagined. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (Nov.)
"The suspense is toddler-perfect, with Mom appearing the moment it all become's too much. . . Lap-sit ready, with a built-in hug at the end."
— The Horn Book Magazine
"Thomson's calm voice makes it clear that Mom's absence is only temporary, so readers can snuggle up and relish this big polar world, gorgeously and inventively imagined."
"A great deal of warmth permeates this lovely story of the cold arctic and a polar bear cub's first exploration outside the cave in which he was born. . . A nice addition to collections for the youngest tots."
"Vivid but not flowery, gentle but exciting, Thomson's measured voice expertly captures the wonder and fear of a young child exploring unfamiliar territory alone. . . . Cub's Big World is a big must-have."
—School Library Journal
PreS-K—Cub's world has been small and white, with just her mother in an icy cave. One day, it is time to leave the cave, and the outside sights and sensations are thrilling. Cub slides "down, down, down" a slippery hill, "fast, fast, fast! The world was fun!" until she cannot find her mother. She looks for Mom's black nose among the stark white, but is fooled several times by other wildlife (captured by the heartbreaking sentence, "The world was too big for a cub with no mom."). The young bear is found at the end and reassured that her mother will be "close by till you're big, too." Vivid but not flowery, gentle but exciting, Thomson's measured voice expertly captures the wonder and fear of a young child exploring unfamiliar territory alone. Cepeda's full-spread oil and acrylic paintings, in cool tones of white, blue, purple, and brown, evoke the cold, desolate beauty of the Arctic as well as the warm, loving emotions of parent and child. This story will play well with the storytime crowd, can be enjoyed independently by beginning readers, and will certainly make for a cozy one-on-one experience. Cub's Big World is a big must-have.—Rebecca Dash Donsky, New York Public Library
A polar bear cub experiences her first adventures outside the security of the den--but still seeks her mother's reassuring presence. When Cub exuberantly tumbles down a slope, she's separated from her (still watchful) mother. Seeking Mom's remembered black nose, she instead encounters a squawking raven, an ermine's black-tipped tail and a diving harp seal. In elegantly simple language, Thomson conveys the acute dependency of the toddler: "The world was too big for a cub with no mom." Two page turns later, the playful reunion's complete--with a sneak peek at Mom for observant children. Cepeda's full-bleed acrylic-and-oil paintings utilize the (unreferenced) northern lights for a vibrant color palette of azure, lavender and green. The snowscape, influenced by the morphing light show, is alternately ice-blue, pale gray-green, ecru and mauve. Painterly strokes lend texture and weight to Cub and his adventure; shifting perspectives ensure that the snowy terrain looks ever-exciting. Thomson's personification of Mom and Cub, along with her measured, soothing text, make for an agreeable, affirming story for both one-on-one and group sharing. (Picture book. 2-6)
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 10.10(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 8 Years
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