In A Minute, Mama Bear (Rachel Bright)

Hello, friends! Our book today is In A Minute, Mama Bear by Rachel Bright, a sweet tale of a mommy and daughter with conflicting schedules.

Mama Bear has a list of errands a mile long, and she needs to keep on schedule. But Bella Bear, her toddler-aged daughter, does things on her own time: when Mama picks out her favorite blue dress to wear, Bella insists on wearing her red jumper instead. A quick meal in the car? But Bella wanted oatmeal and pancakes! And proclaiming that she needs to use the potty before they leave, she takes her time perusing her books while she “goes”. Even when they finally get out the door, the have to turn around – Bella forgot her silly cup. With every delay and distraction, Mama Bear is pushed closer to her breaking point, resulting in her losing her temper when faced with a traffic jam. Spotting Bella’s meek expression in response to the outburst, Mama Bear pauses to consider how her mood affects her cub, and wonders if all those appointments are really as important as they seem.

This is one of those stories that absolutely feels like it was written for caregivers as much as their little ones; I was SO sympathetic to Mama Bear’s desperation to get out the door on time while Bella innocently dawdled and delayed. The lesson is very much directed at the adult reader: Mama Bear decides to put off her errands and skip Bella’s dance class, taking the day to go to the park and simply enjoy each other’s company. And while the notion of simply dropping all responsibilities for a day of play may feel a little fantastic, the core message is clear: remember to take the time to let kids be kids, at their pace and not yours. It’s heartwarming and sweet, and bolstered lovingly by the wide-eyed, energetic and expressive character design. The length is perfect for any age, and we liked it a lot. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

The Lion Inside (Rachel Bright)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Lion Inside, written by Rachel Bright and illustrated by Jim Field, a charming tale of finding one’s courage.

In the middle of an African plain, there is a very tall rock. At the very bottom of the towering landmark, there is a teeny tiny house, where lives the meekest little brown mouse. The poor mouse is so small, he often gets overlooked, excluded, even stepped on. It’s a lonely life, and he wishes he could be more like his neighbor on top of the rock – the boss lion. Because of the lion’s strength, leadership, and mighty roar, all the animals respect and admire him, especially the little mouse. One night, the mouse has an epiphany: perhaps, if he had a mighty roar of his own, he could get the attention of the other animals. He would still be a mouse, but perhaps the others would realize he was there and include him in their social circles. However, he realizes that the best one – the ONLY one – who can teach him this skill is the boss lion himself! Gathering his courage, Mouse sets up to the top of the rock, but will his quest be met with success? Or will he end up as – gulp! – a lion’s snack?

Very cute. The story does a good job of setting up the mouse’s struggles, especially that his aim in learning to roar is simply to be noticed and included – an understandable wish. The twist, in which we find that the lion is terrified of mice, is clever – the mouse is friendly and he and the lion become fast friends. It’s a good way of illustrating that everyone is afraid of something, and that our courage can often be found in our kindness. The illustrations are bright and energetic, with great character design and dynamic angles. The length was good, and JJ loved it! A sweet and encouraging tale, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

Love Monster And The Scary Something (Rachel Bright)

Hello, everyone! Our book today is Love Monster And The Scary Something by Rachel Bright, an adorable tale about facing one’s fears of the things that go bump in the night. 

Love Monster has finished his bedtime routine and is all ready to settle in for sleepy time, but the noises in his home are very spooky! Surely, there is a horrible creature climbing the stairs to do him in, but he must somehow find the bravery to face his fears. And when he does, he may find that what he is afraid of is not at all what it appears to be.

What a very cute book! A whimsical rhyme scheme and some stellar text layouts and illustrations tell a timeless fable about fear; namely, that when you find the courage to face your fears, you often find that the very thing you were afraid of was nothing to fear in the first place. Love Monster and his night of nervousness is a cute tale with a satisfying ending, and that’s great for any book about fears. The length was fine for baby bookworms, and JJ really seemed to like it, so we can definitely call this one Baby Bookworm approved!