Chitra Soundar is an Indian-born British author and storyteller. She has published more than 30 books and is inspired by the rich heritage of epics and folktales from India as well as India's natural beauty. Poonam Mistry is a UK-based freelance illustrator with a degree in graphic design and illustration. Her work is heavily influenced by nature, folklore, and traditional Indian art. Poonam was short-listed for the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2019.
"Starting with their birth in a den below the snowdrifts, Mama Bear nurtures her cubs and describes the world they will encounter in the spring. The mother polar bear tells them that they will walk 'where the land will let us walk' and 'As long as the ice stays frozen, we will never go hungry.' The sea creatures pictured in this spread are recognizable but also almost phantasmagorical in the intricate designs, full of lines and dots inspired by traditional Indian art and looking beautiful here in this very different setting. Pictures full of stars and snowflakes swirl. 'Terns and geese fly through the skies.' The rhythmic quality of their undulating forms is quite striking, and it mirrors the sonorous text. Mama gives her young ones lessons, good for human children (and adults) as well as polar bears: 'We should only ever take what we need.' In telling them about the ocean and the land, the darkness of winter and the light of summer, the animals all around them, and their need to become independent after she has taught them all she knows, she reassuringly repeats the refrain: 'But hush now, you're snug with me.' In a note to readers, the author provides some additional facts about polar bears and urges everyone to be good stewards of the Earth. Parental love, sound ecological advice, and breathtaking illustrations all in one."--starred, Kirkus Reviews--Journal
"A female polar bear digs a den in preparation for giving birth to twin cubs. As they grow, they question their mother about what lies outside their cozy home. They have concerns about the darkness of the Arctic winter, whether the ice she tells them about will melt, and if the Earth will ever fall. As she comforts them, they ask if they are the only creatures that live in their cold climate, and she tells of the other animals that inhabit the land, the ocean and the air. In explanation of the coming season, she states: 'The Earth dances on her toes and when she tilts, our nights will get shorter and spring will return.' Large single- and double-page spreads contain minutely detailed drawings, which were created using pen and ink and finished digitally. Lyrical language and the mesmerizing illustrations, which grace the pages in swirls of subdued shades of blue, teal and gold, combine in breathtaking beauty. From the creators of the equally reassuring You're Safe with Me (2018), this is a heartwarming tribute to creatures of the Arctic that offers a gentle ecology lesson as well 'We should only ever take what we need.'"--starred, Booklist--Journal
"Brilliant snowflake mandalas and intricate geometric designs create a magical Arctic landscape as Mama Bear guides her new cubs through the natural wonders of the changing seasons, cautioning and reassuring while keeping them warm and snug by her side. The book is a tribute to environmental awareness and cultivating a healthy respect for the fierce beauty of the frozen North. Golden hues mix with shades of indigo to depict a celestial polar sky and the diverse creatures living under it."--starred, Foreword Reviews--Website
"Booklist Editors' Choice: Books for Youth, 2018.
Committed to providing a broad selection of outstanding books that mixes popular appeal with literary excellence, the Books for Youth editorial staff has chosen the titles below as best-of-the-year nonfiction and fiction books and picture books.
You're Snug with Me. By Chitra Soundar. Illus. by Poonam Mistry. Lantana, $17.99 (9781911373476). PreS-Gr. 2.
As two young polar bears grow, they ask their mother questions about their world in this breathtakingly illustrated tribute to the Arctic world, which offers a gentle environmental lesson in addition to mesmerizingly detailed artwork."--Booklist Online--Website