Monday, February 13, 2017

Missing! Love Matters Most by Mij Kelley and Gerry Tulley

Why is the bear staring into the night

At a world that is a chillier sight?

She's looking for something.

She plods purposefully away from her den, into icy, frosty, windy landscape, with no living thing in sight, except for a small yellow bird. What would make a bear walk out into a storm? Could it be the dried red berries on a bush? The bird perches among them, but the bear presses on past them.

She follows the icy shore, the tall dark pines standing starkly along the foot of the mountains, white against the deep, dark blue sky. She comes to a stream, where salmon are leaping in silvery flashes from the icy waters.

Is this what she came for?

No. She seems to follow the yellow bird who flies on ahead as if scouting for her, now and then perching on a twig to wait for her to catch up.

She's searching for someone.


And there is her missing baby, lost, but now found. Love finds the way, in Mij Kelley's and Gerry Tulley's Love Matters Most (Little, Brown and Company, 2016), a sweet story of mother love. Kelley's and Tulley's illustrations are striking, done mostly in a palette of pale gray snow, white snowflakes, and a pale blue sea, brightened by touches of the dark blue-green evergeens, an intriguing swirl of the northern lights, red berries, and the bright yellow of the faithful bird. Mother and child are back together again, and that is what matters most.

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