Mama, Why?
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Mama, Why?

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by Karma Wilson, Simon Mendez
     
 

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"When the moon sails high in the arctic sky,
Polar Cub asks, "Mama, why?"

A polar bear cub asks his mother a multitude of "why" questions before he goes to sleep: Why is there a moon up in the sky? Why do we dream? Why are there stars in the sky? And why can't we see the stars during the day? Finally, once his Mama has explained everything to him,

Overview

"When the moon sails high in the arctic sky,
Polar Cub asks, "Mama, why?"

A polar bear cub asks his mother a multitude of "why" questions before he goes to sleep: Why is there a moon up in the sky? Why do we dream? Why are there stars in the sky? And why can't we see the stars during the day? Finally, once his Mama has explained everything to him, Mama ushers her little one off to sleep, explaining that she will sleep too, so she can dream about her dearest cub.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Snuggling up with its mother, a baby polar bear wonders why the moon is in the sky. "Moon floats up there/ to say goodnight to polar bears," answers its mother. Of course, that's not enough for an inquisitive youngster (of any species), but Mama is more than willing to indulge her cub. The moon, she says, is friends with the globe-trotting stars, and dreams are the stories that the stars have told the moon. And snow? That's the stars' version of a contrail. If this sounds too sweet for its own good, rest assured that this lullaby never steps over the line. Wilson's conversational style beautifully captures a homespun imagination and the feel of a mother's end-of-day murmurs to her "dearest one." There's genuine magic in Mendez's soft-focus arctic scenes, particularly the way his lighting conveys the warm glow of the moon, the glittering night, and the glacial air. And he gives the bears' thick white fur an extraordinary palpability: it's almost as if it could billow with each turn of the page. Ages 3–7. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Amanda Ledbetter
As a polar bear cub sees the moon rising in the evening sky, the image prompts a series of "why" questions for his mother. She patiently answers her cub's questions through imaginative poetry. She first explains that the moon is saying good night to the polar bears and then describes how the moon and stars send magic tales in dreams to sleeping bears. Her gentle rhyme soothes her little one to sleep, and he drifts off as she tells him that he is her dearest one. Fanciful, mixed-media illustrations by Mendez include shades of blues and purples, broken by shimmering stars, giving the pictures a dreamy landscape. His images further the narrative and spark imagination in readers, young and old alike, making this a great lullaby story for families to share. Reviewer: Amanda Ledbetter
School Library Journal
PreS-K—A mama polar bear answers her baby's questions about dreams in this soft lullaby. As the stars travel around the world, "they see such sights. They share them with Moon as they twinkle at night." And in turn, "Such wondrous stories the moon must share. He turns them to dreams for polar bears." Wilson's soothing verses are paired with Mendez's astoundingly beautiful mixed-media illustrations. The lifelike mother and child are superimposed against ethereal backgrounds of the Moon, swirling stars, Arctic landscapes, an aurora borealis, and other fantastic images. The gentle story is just right for sending young children drifting off to dreamland.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews

A lullaby featuring a polar bear mother and cub joins the legions of other tales of young ones asking their mothers the familiar—why? "When the moon sails high in the Artic sky, / Polar cub asks, 'Mama, why?' / Mama answers, 'Moon floats up there / to say good night to polar bears. / He glides above to shine sweet dreams / and sends them down on silver beams.'" Mama adds, "When the moon sends dreams of princes and queens, / he turns wondrous stories into dreams." While the sleepy polar cub continues to ask "why" in response to each of his mother's lyrical explanations, the mixed-media illustrations imbue a dreamy quality to the spare text. Amid the misty aura, the bears are almost photographically realistic, especially their fur texture. Mendez sprinkles stars liberally about his spreads, their luster adding to the silvery sheen of the moon against the dark Arctic night, as if channeling Thomas Kinkade. As Mama's explanations grow ever more fanciful, he incorporates fanciful imagery from the standard (pirate ships, royal coaches) to refreshingly original (bears and a trio of seals put together in the night sky). The overall effect is soothing, affectionate, precious and cozy—practically guaranteed to lull little ones to sleep.(Picture book. 3-5)

Kirkus Reviews

A lullaby featuring a polar bear mother and cub joins the legions of other tales of young ones asking their mothers the familiar—why? "When the moon sails high in the Artic sky, / Polar cub asks, 'Mama, why?' / Mama answers, 'Moon floats up there / to say good night to polar bears. / He glides above to shine sweet dreams / and sends them down on silver beams.'" Mama adds, "When the moon sends dreams of princes and queens, / he turns wondrous stories into dreams." While the sleepy polar cub continues to ask "why" in response to each of his mother's lyrical explanations, the mixed-media illustrations imbue a dreamy quality to the spare text. Amid the misty aura, the bears are almost photographically realistic, especially their fur texture. Mendez sprinkles stars liberally about his spreads, their luster adding to the silvery sheen of the moon against the dark Arctic night, as if channeling Thomas Kinkade. As Mama's explanations grow ever more fanciful, he incorporates fanciful imagery from the standard (pirate ships, royal coaches) to refreshingly original (bears and a trio of seals put together in the night sky). The overall effect is soothing, affectionate, precious and cozy—practically guaranteed to lull little ones to sleep.(Picture book. 3-5)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416942054
Publisher:
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
03/22/2011
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
1,182,015
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Karma Wilson is the bestselling author of several picture books for Simon & Schuster, including the Bear series and Where Is Home, Little Pip? Karma lives in Montana.

Simon Mendez lives and works in Yorkshire, England. He has loved to draw for as long as he can remember. He is also the winner of a Gold Star Award from the Association of Illustrators in the UK.

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Mama, Why? 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Loye Daniel More than 1 year ago
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