Following on from the success of their first picture book collaboration, ‘You’re Safe With Me,’ Soundar and Mistry have created another beautiful title in the series.
The story begins at the start of winter when two polar bear cubs are born in their icy den. Their mama bear promises to keep them warm and snug as the snow continues to fall. They are desperate to get out and explore, but Mama Bear simply answers all their questions and waits for the smell on the air to signal the start of Spring. When it does, the little family leave their den and the cubs cannot believe how brightly everything sparkles.
Mama Bear watches on as the bear cubs take their first steps on the snow and start learn about their place in the delicate balance of a polar ecosystem.
This beautiful story has a mythical, ethereal quality to it, in part due to the soothing lullaby and repeated refrain of ‘You’re snug with me’ in Chitra’s text, but also due to the stunningly detailed illustrations created by Poonam. Strongly influenced by traditional Indian art, Poonam’s distinctive illustrative style add real magic to this book.
Chitra’s story not only teaches about life in a polar climate but also contains a very gentle ecological message for its young readers about only taking what you need from the planet and no more – something which children are a lot more aware of than you might think.
If you’d like to hear Chitra and Poonam talk more about the creation of this book, the next title in the series and the importance of diversity in children’s publishing, then take a listen to the Library Girl and Book Boy podcast HERE.
*Many thanks to Lantana Publishing for sending me this title to review and organising the podcast interview*