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.
Little Raccoon has a burning question for his motherwhen 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: nowall 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.
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.
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)