Little Raccoon's Big Question

Overview

Little Raccoon has a question.

It is a question for his mother.

"When do you love me most of all?" he asks.

Of course, one question leads to another.

"Is it when I wake up?"

And another.

"Is it when I ...

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Overview

Little Raccoon has a question.

It is a question for his mother.

"When do you love me most of all?" he asks.

Of course, one question leads to another.

"Is it when I wake up?"

And another.

"Is it when I play in the trees?"

And another and another and another.

Little Raccoon has lots of questions.

How many answers does his mother have?

Just one.

When Little Raccoon asks his mother when she loves him the most, she finally answers "always right now."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As Little Raccoon winds down his day, he asks his mother, "When do you love me most of all?" With Schlein (Just Like Me) nailing the timbre of pint-sized insistence (not to mention bedtime resistance), and Schoenherr (Marie in Fourth Position) reveling in the hero's wide-eyed theatricality, this elegant, warmhearted book is off to a running start. As Little Raccoon formulates variations on his question, Schoenherr moves between spot illustrations chronicling the bedtime preparations to full-bleed, exquisitely stippled flashbacks from the duo's daily routine. The spreads exude a luxuriant, reassuring feel, and subtly temper Little Raccoon's rather relentless energy. And Schoenherr has a wonderful sense of volume and space. When the bushy-tailed hero wonders if his mother loves him best, "at feeding time, when I wash my paws and wash my food and am very neat when I eat? Is it then? Is that when?" the artist depicts their cozy kitchen, where the youngster perches on a boulder, chewing on a golden ear of corn as wide as he is tall; sunlight dapples every surface and illuminates his mother's fur. Finally, the patient parent reveals her answer: "Now is the time when I love most of all.... It's always right now." This Zen-like response is so complete and so resonant that Little Raccoon completely capitulates and goes to sleep-proving that when it comes to bedtime, mothers have a few tricks up their sleeves, too. Ages 4-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Little Raccoon has a burning question for his mother—when does she love him best of all? As he goes through his daily routine, he tries to guess. Is it when he washes his hands and eats neatly? When he is playing in the tree with all the other raccoons? How about when he wakes her in the morning? It must be when he swims all the way across the pond and back. As Mother Raccoon goes about her daily activities, she always answers that, no, that's not when she loves him best of all. Finally, as they cuddle in a good-night hug, Mother Raccoon tells him: now—all the time and every time. Little Raccoon drifts off to sleep, tired from his guessing, content with the perfect answer. A lovely book, made even lovelier by Schoenherr's winsome illustrations. Like Mother Raccoon's answer, now is the best time to read this with your toddler or preschooler. And, read it over and over. 2004, Greenwillow Books, Ages 2 to 6.
—Judy Crowder
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Little Raccoon wants to know when it is that his mother loves him most. Is it when he eats neatly or swims all the way across the pond, or when they huddle together on a snowy winter night? His mother replies, "No.- That's not when" to all of the described scenarios until she finally reveals, "-there is no special time. I love you all the time." Schlein does a masterful job of capturing the naively egocentric voice of an exuberant toddler who is secure in his mother's love and confident that he is the center of her world. Schoenherr's ink-and-acrylic paintings in warm golds and browns echo the warmth of the story. The spreads are rich in cozy detail, and Little Raccoon is irresistible as he playacts in his towel at bath time or cavorts in the trees. Pair this with Sam McBratney's Guess How Much I Love You (Candlewick, 1995) for two bedtime stories that guarantee sweet dreams.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Poking his wet head out of his bath, Little Raccoon asks his mother an important question: "When do you love me most of all?" He offers many guesses, wondering whether it's when he wakes her in the morning, or when he has good manners at the table. Is it when he plays in the trees with the other raccoons or when he swims all the way across the pond and back? Finally tired and ready for bed, Little Raccoon is out of guesses. Hugging him close to her chest mother tells him her answer, "Now." Little Raccoon's big brown eyes shine from the pages as he tries to guess when he's most loved. Bath times in a mixing bowl and play time in a many-limbed tree rendered in acrylics and ink offer amusing illustrations to accompany the quiet story. (Picture book. 3-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060521165
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/16/2004
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Miriam Schlein is the acclaimed author of numerous books for children, including the classic stories of motherly love The Way Mothers Are and Just like Me.

Ian Schoenherr grew up near Locktown, New Jersey. He has written and illustrated three books—Read It, Don't Eat It!; Cat & Mouse; and Pip & Squeak—and illustrated numerous books by other authors, including Little Raccoon's Big Question, by Miriam Schlein. The artist lives in Woodside, New York.

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