Nobody got more than two hours of consecutive sleep last night, and I had one flushed, feverish baby or the other in my arms all day. Before bed tonight we needed a book that would make us feel good. Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolff (Beach Lane Books, 2012) was the perfect pick.
If at first all you see is another color concept book, read it again–this time through Baby Bear’s eyes. On the first page Baby Bear clambers up on his Mama and we read: “In the den’s dark wall, an opening slowly fills with light. A glow creeps in. ‘Who is warming me, Mama?’ asks Baby Bear. ‘That is the sun,’ Mama says.” Turn the page to see Baby Bear’s silhouette looking out of his cave just as the warm morning sunlight streams in. “Baby Bear Sees Yellow,” Wolff writes.
Our perfectly egocentric little Baby Bear settles into a nice pattern: discovering something new about his world, asking his mother to explain it, receiving a satisfactory answer and then seeing a beautiful color.
“‘Who is waving to me, Mama?’… ‘That is the oak.’…Baby Bear sees green.”
“‘Who is singing to me, Mama?’… ‘Those are the jays.’…Baby Bear sees blue.”
Don’t all babies think the leaves are waving just to them? What baby doesn’t believe the birds are singing him a private serenade? The innocence of the Baby. The patience of the Mama. The art work. It is hard to turn on from the page where Baby Bear sees orange. Like everything about this book, the butterflies are simply beautiful.
Baby Bear and his Mama see a gray sky and hurry home seeking shelter from the storm. On the fourth to last spread, there are shades of red, of orange, of yellow, green, blue and indigo dancing in the puddles outside the bear den; and we know, with this fantastic foreshadowing, what the next page will hold. A breathtaking, immensely satisfying synthesis of all that has preceded thus far in this book that is, after all, a color concept book. “‘That is the rainbow,’ Mama says.” <Sigh.>
We are beginning to feel better.
And finally, to bring it full circle, on the very last page “…Baby Bear closes his eyes and sees nothing but deep, soft black.”
A color I hope to see much more of myself, tonight.
Picture Book House Rating: Read it Again, Mommy!