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Bear of My Heart [Board book]
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About the Author

Joanne Ryder is the award-winning author of numerous children's books about the natural world, including Little Panda: The World Welcomes Hua Mei at the San Diego Zoo. Some of her other books include Bears Out There, Chipmunk Song, The Snail's Spell, and White Bear, Ice Bear. Before becoming a full-time writer, Joanne worked as a children's book editor in New York City. She lives in California. Margie Moore has illustrated several books for children, including Count the Ways, Little Brown Bear, which PW praised for her "aesthetic sense and emotional depth," and Bartholomew's Blessing, which Kirkus described as "delightful." She lives with her family in West Belmar, New Jersey.

Reviews

PreS-A simple tale of a mother's love for her child. The story, in one-line rhyming verse, is told from the point of view of a mother bear. She promises her cub all of life's simple pleasures (splashing in streams, gazing at stars, snuggling and hugging) that they can share. And of course, there is the reassurance that no matter how old the cub gets, or how far it wanders, the mother's love will last "forever and ever,/for YOU are the bear of my heart." This book covers ground already well trod by Sam McBratney's Guess How Much I Love You (Candlewick, 1995), Nancy Tafuri's I Love You, Little One (Scholastic, 1998), and Margaret Wise Brown's The Runaway Bunny (HarperCollins, 1942). Moore's illustrations, rendered in watercolor, are dominated by the bears, which helps to reinforce the all-encompassing relationship between the two. This book will appeal to new mothers and is suitable for lap-time sharing.-Kara Schaff Dean, Needham Public Library, MA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

During a sunny day together, a parent bear (the gender is never specified) tells its cub all the ways in which the little one is "the bear of my heart, dear,/ and I am the one who loves you." These include telling many stories, seeing wonderful places together, racing in the sun and splashing in the stream. Ryder's (My Mother's Voice) singsong meter elevates these simple pleasures into a lullaby anthem: "Let's sit nose to nose and share secrets./ Let's wish on a star, eyes shut tight./ Let's whisper our dreams in the darkness./ Let's snuggle together at night." For her part, Moore (Bartholomew's Blessing) suggests an intimacy between parent and child that's reassuring but never suffocating; in one scene, the cub sits on the parent's back, blending into the curve of the older animal yet retaining its own individuality. The watercolors' velvety textures and soft hues convey an idyllic life, and the animals' comfortingly bulky shapes are embellished with just enough wispy brushstrokes to let readers know just how snuggly soft their coats are. There will always be a need for books like this one: unabashedly emotional while successfully skirting treacle. Ages 3-6. (Dec.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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