November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Where, Oh Where, Is Baby Bear? by Ashley Wolff | SLJ Review

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

redstarWOLFF, Ashley. Where, Oh Where, Is Baby Bear? illus. by Ashley Wolff. 32p. S. & S./Beach Lane. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481499163.

PreS –When night falls, the sweet and curious black bear cub and his mother go looking for food. Mama hunts and Baby Bear explores. “‘Where, oh where, is Baby Bear?’ calls Mama.” Readers won’t worry, because Wolff has hidden Baby Bear in the spread for them to find. “Here I am, Mama,” he replies each time. The sky subtly darkens as they make their way through their world, each page featuring creatures that share the habitat with the bear family: the placid owl, a faun, raccoons, and otters. Here too are the mushrooms, ferns, and cattails of a woodland life, providing young viewers with a window into nature. The scope of their adventure is recalled at the end of the story, as Wolff shows the pair making their way back through the meadow, around the pond, across the river, between the birch trees, down the cliff, and into their den. The ending is predictable but comforting—Baby Bear asking, “Where, oh where, is Mama Bear” and her retort “Here I am, right beside you.” Wolff uses linoleum block images printed on paper in black, which she then hand-watercolors. The juxtaposition of hard black printed lines with the subtle colors of nature at night are a perfect match to the narrative. The act of reading the book with an adult mirrors its theme—the balance of independence and nurture. This iteration of Baby Bear’s adventures will find success as a lap-sit or story time at home or in a library. VERDICT This title is a winner—vivid illustrations, a narrative that begs for call and response, elements of seek-and-find, and an introduction to woodland nature. A must-have for all collections.–Lisa Lehmuller, Paul Cuffee Maritime Charter School, Providence

This review was published in the School Library Journal September 2017 issue.

Share
A Day-Long Celebration of Fandom-Beloved Stories and Characters
Join Library Journal and School Library Journal for our inaugural LibraryCon Live! We’re excited to offer this day-long virtual festival for book nerds, librarians, and fans of graphic novels, sci-fi, and fantasy. Network online with other fans and explore our virtual exhibit hall where you’ll hear directly from publishers about their newest books and engage in live chats with featured authors. You’ll also learn from librarians and industry insiders on how to plan and host your own Comic Con-style event.
Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*