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Mama, Why?

3.35  ·  Rating Details  ·  128 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
"When the moon sails high in the arctic sky,
Polar Cub asks, "Mama, why?"

A polar bear cub asks his mother a multitude of "why" questions before he goes to sleep: Why is there a moon up in the sky? Why do we dream? Why are there stars in the sky? And why can't we see the stars during the day? Finally, once his Mama has explained everything to him, Mama ushers her little on
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
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Sep 11, 2011 Candice rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Sophie
Shelves: picture-books
A beautifully illustrated rhyming bedtime book. "when the moon sails high in the arctic sky, Polar Cub asks, 'Mama, why?'" Mama proceeds to answer her cub's many questions about the night. The stars tell tales to the moon - "of princes, pirates and queens, of palaces, kingdoms, and magical scenes." The moon turns these stories to dreams for polar bears. The illustrations are soft and dreamy and show the cold beauty of the arctic and the warmth of a mother's love. The end is a perfect passage to ...more
Apr 23, 2011 Melissa rated it it was ok
Sugar coma!
Johna Brown
Sep 24, 2013 Johna Brown rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, genre, imagery
This children's bedtime story uses a rhyming pattern to answer a series of questions asked by a polar cub to his mother. The two discuss the purpose of the moon and the stars, and the mother creates a depiction of where the moon and stars travel to during the day. The inquisitive cub is finally off to sleep when the mother urges him off to bed by ensuring that she will dream of him. This book is good for preschool aged children.
As a teacher, I would use this story to teach students how to use i
Meg McGregor
May 23, 2014 Meg McGregor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-to-lexi
An absolutely beautifully illustrated story highlighting the loving and patient relationship between a Mama and her very inquisitive polar bear cub.

Truely, an enchanting and exquisite book that is great for bedtime and nap time!
Angela Gaskell
Feb 10, 2013 Angela Gaskell rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, children-s
This book was okay. It seemed very whiney to me. The biggest problem I had is that a cub as young as the one in the story would have been born in spring and raised in the summer months of the arctic. This means that there would be no stars and no moon as they are brightly and boldly portrayed in the story. Its the land of the midnight sun up there in the Arctic when Polar Bears are Cubs. I know the book is not realistic, because there are talking Polar Bears with strange emotions that Polar Bear ...more
Dec 18, 2012 Marfita rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s
I seem to be struggling with this one. I had hoped to use it in storytime, perhaps paired with Polar Bear Night or Little Polar Bear. I liked the realistic polar bear images ... more yellow than white, which make it more believable that their skin underneath is dark*. The pictures are surreal - on the one hand reflecting nature and on the other highly imaginary to go with the text, which is of the mother bear's supernatural explanations of the night, the moon, and the stars.

*I like to point this
May 26, 2015 Naomi rated it liked it
Let's just call it an ode to the moon and stars. Not my favorite by this author, but the illustrations really made the book. They were beautiful and bumped my rating up to 3 stars.
Jun 02, 2011 Barbara rated it liked it
Shelves: ncbla
As the day draws to a close, a Polar Bear Cub asks its Mama "Why?" about a series of events such as why day turns to night. Mama, in turn, answers him in a series of rhyming lines, each designed to comfort her little one in preparation for ready for sleep. The mixed media illustrations are especially attractive with the polar ice sparkling, and the bears' fur shimmering in the moonlight. Some of the Mama's explanations are a bit long-winded and odd--Would polar bears dream of pirate ships, castl ...more
Feb 16, 2014 Adrienne rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The illustrations are beautiful. The story is all right, but it was the pictures that really drew me in.
Pat Fromm
Dec 23, 2014 Pat Fromm rated it liked it
The art is gorgeous, but I wasn't impressed by the concept of the story.
Aug 28, 2013 Andrea rated it it was amazing
The art was perfect for the story and it is so beyond beautiful for any age to see.
The words were very easy to read and I liked how they rhymed enough to make the story flow, as if they should be spoken instead of read.
I loved how it told a little bit about the stars and the snow, or should I say stardust?
This also would've been a good story if a child comes from a one parent home because of the ending, showing that the parent really does love her child more than anything else.
May 15, 2011 Shelli rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Beautifully illustrated story of a young polar bear and his mother. The bear cub must be three years old because he keeps asking his mother "why?" His mother, how is a far more patient mother then I ever was during this stage, answers all his questions in sweet creative ways. To which the cub answers with another "why?" While the story is touching, the pictures really made this book. Also made me happy to no longer be a mother of a three year old.
May 06, 2011 Tricia rated it liked it
While a departure from the author's character of "bear", this title features a mother and child polar bear duo enjoying the nighttime sights and winding down to bedtime. The cub, as a young child would do, asks "why?" about many things...the moon..stars. Beautifully illustrated with dreamy sequences overlaid in the nature scenes, this is a bedtime read that a child will ask for again and again.
Dec 15, 2011 Megan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: toddler-kindergarten
Polar Cub asks Mama questions about the moon and stars at night. The bears themselves look realistic but the illustrations take them to a fantasy wonderland full of snow, castles, and soft colors. Wilson's rhymes, as always, are just right, making this a sweet story to share with your little questioner.
Apr 09, 2013 Matthew rated it it was ok
I wasn't crazy about the text in this one, but the illustrations are incredibly beautiful. I'm not crazy about lullabies though, so I might not be the best person to ask about this. If you like lullabies with great illustrations, this would be a great choice.
Jan 16, 2013 Vivian rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
We concluded our "Polar Pals" story time with this endearing picture book -- the pictures are charming and the text is enchanting as mother bear becomes increasingly clever with her responses. Have you ever thought of snow as star dust?
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
This is a often done story...mama polar bear with baby polar bear and something sweet and magical about their relationship. It is a sweet story which may not fully hold up to others in this category.
Mar 31, 2011 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Storytime uses: for older kids due to length. Bedtime or Bears

Different look for a Karma Wilson picture book. Soft, dreamlike illustrations that work well with bedtime lullaby storyline.

Apr 06, 2011 Heidi rated it liked it
A bedtime book. A little on the cheesy-ish kind of side, but not bad. It's lulling and soft and tender, the way a getting-the-child-to-sleep book should be. The illustrations are wonderful.
When the moon appears at night, a polar bear cub asks his mother, "Why?" She spins a magical story about the moon and stars while the cub continues to ask her why certain events happen each night.
Jul 03, 2013 Relyn rated it really liked it
Recommended to Relyn by: I love Karma Wilson.
Oh, I always enjoy Karma Wilson's books. Always! This was sweet and had a wonderful rhythm. I think this could easily become a bedtime favorite for a new generation of littles.
Feb 03, 2016 Hannah rated it liked it
There are some really cute mama and baby pictures in this book. I always enjoy Karma Wilson's books and while she didn't illustrate this one it was still an enjoyable read.
Mar 31, 2012 Breanna rated it liked it
Shelves: kids, t-l306
My family and I really enjoy this book. It is full of sweetness and imagination and I enjoy the rhyme scheme. I would have rated it higher but it is a tad on the longish side.
May 14, 2011 Kim rated it liked it
Shelves: animals, picture, bedtime
Sweet story to read at bedtime. Polar bear mom putting her baby to sleep.
Mar 24, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Great pictures (by Simon Mendez), okay story, not Wilson's usual.
Linda Atkinson
Mar 22, 2011 Linda Atkinson rated it really liked it
Illustrator Simon Mendez did a standout job. Warm and cuddly ;-)
preschool, nighttime, bedtime, moon, stars, bear, mother, child
Jul 23, 2011 Jennifer rated it liked it
Beautiful pictures, but not as good as her usual work.
Apr 22, 2011 Jane rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
good mother's day picturebook!
Edward Sullivan
Mar 19, 2011 Edward Sullivan rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Gentle and warm. Good bedtime reading.
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Karma Wilson grew up an only child of a single mother in the wilds of North Idaho. Way back then (just past the stone age and somewhat before the era of computers) there was no cable TV and if there had been Karma could not have recieved it. TV reception was limited to 3 channels, of which one came in with some clarity. Karma did the only sensible thing a lonely little girl could do…she read or pl ...more
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