Blueing the Blues: Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolff
DEEP DOWN IN THE DEN
BABY BEAR WAKES UP.
IN THE DEN'S DARK WALL
AN OPENING SLOWLY FILLS WITH LIGHT.
A GLOW SLOWLY CREEPS IN.
"WHAT IS WARMING ME, MAMA?" ASKS BABY BEAR.
"THAT IS THE SUN," MAMA BEAR SAYS.
BABY BEAR SEES YELLOW.
What does a newly awakened bear cub see when he first ventures out into the wide world?
In Ashley Wolff's Baby Bear Sees Blue (Beachlane Books, 2012), Baby Bear sits in the mouth of the den, looking out at a world that is completely new and inviting. The sun is golden and warm and something is waving at him. It's a twig with bright new leaves on the oak, waving in the breeze.
BABY BEAR SEES GREEN
With a visual tip of the hat to the look and gentle mood of Robert McCloskey's classic Blueberries for Sal, Baby Bear's attention is on the sights all around him: jays call to each other, and he sees BLUE. A dark shape darts through the stream--a trout--and Baby Bear sees BROWN; sweet strawberries dangle from the bush, and he sees RED. A butterfly touches down briefly on his head, tickling him lightly, and Baby Bear sees ORANGE.
But then the summer sky darkens, and Baby Bear sees it grow gray, suddenly scored by a slash of lightning. The storm is brief, though, and as it moves away down the hills, Baby Bear suddenly sees some familiar colors==but in a new shape.
"THAT'S A RAINBOW!" SAYS MAMA.
With his color education done for the day, it's time to seek out Mama's warm cuddle and close his eyes. Baby Bear sees BLACK, and that means the colors are sleeping, too--until tomorrow.
Wolff brings her lovely day book full cycle in a quiet but satisfying story that combines the cozy safety of Mama Bear's side with the excitement of new sights and new words in a concept book that preschoolers will understand and to which they will respond, answering the cub's questions after one hearing The story ends, like all such stories should, in a cozy goodnight. Wolff's Mama Bear is big and round and comfortable as she introduces Baby Bear to the wonders of the world, its colors and tastes, and her Baby Bear is fuzzy and round-eyed as he takes it all in. A fine choice for reinforcing basic color concepts and a fine parent-and-child story for any time of the day, especially bedtime.