A polar bear cub has lost his mother in the snow-covered forest. Unable to find her after a long search, he decides to build a big white bear out of snow to keep him company while he waits. His forest friends arrive one by one to help him, but when darkness falls, their own mothers call them home. The little white bear is left alone again. The cub cuddles close to the snow bear and falls fast asleep. But listen! As dawn breaks, who comes sniffing and searching through the trees?
Nature lovers of all ages will delight in the captivating illustrations and the reassuring story of friendship, teamwork, and a mother's love. On every page, lavish embossing and silver accents gently illuminate the frosty beauty of the forest setting.
After a polar bear cub is separated from his mother, he seeks comfort with "a snow mother" that his cold-weather friends a musk ox, snow goose, moose, fox, wolf and rabbit help him build. Dawn breaks, and when the cub awakes, he discovers that the snow figure has been replaced by his warm, familiar-smelling mother. The book's "hook" is Kneen's illustrations; as with her The Lonely Scarecrow, they are embossed to evoke the textures of the arctic setting and its inhabitants. Children will readily discern the difference between the smooth feel of the fallen snow and the bumpier surfaces of the animals' coats and feathers. But there's little variation among the textures of the animals themselves and the conceit wears thin quickly. It's ultimately the quiet power of Moss's (The Snoops) writing that compels attention. With alliteration and sibilance, she evokes the hushed landscape of winter: "In the silent forest is a clearing where soft snowflakes fall. But listen! There's padding and pouncing and a snowdrift shivers." Her descriptions bring to life the different ways each animal helps the cub: the bison "heaves a heavy mound of snow with his strong shoulder," while the snow goose "pats down the snow with her wide, webbed feet." All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.