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Review: Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolff

Baby Bear Sees Blue
By Ashley Wolff

Beach Lane Books (Simon & Schuster)

ISBN: 9781442413061
Grades PreK-1
In Stores

*Best New Book*

Find it at:
Schuler Books | Your Library

The goal of a concept book is clear – teach colors or numbers or shapes or any other basic concept that kids need to know about. It’s rare when this sort of book can move past simply introducing skills toward original and engaging storytelling. That should be the goal, but it’s harder than it looks. With Baby Bear Sees Blue, Ashley Wolff (Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten) manages this feat. It’s a book where concept and story are perfectly aligned.

Upon waking up next to his mother in their den, Baby Bear sees the morning sunlight slowly build to a radiant yellow. After leaving the den, the leaves of an oak tree bring green. During the course of the day each new activity, hunting, eating, avoiding a thunderstorm – brings new colors to experience, culminating in every color at once – a rainbow. But sleep beckons, and Baby Bear and his mother end their day of color perfectly – with the soft black of a deep sleep.

The illustrations are a bold combination of linoleum block printing and watercolor. They’re masterfully executed. The palette is vibrant, putting all the colors of the outdoors on display. Each turn of the page reveals another gorgeously rendered two-page spread.

Perfect for teaching colors or for a quietly successful storytime for the preschool set, this is no ordinary concept book.

Review copy from the library.

Read the Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast feature on Baby Bear Sees Blue (with tons of artwork).

Also reviewed by A Fuse #8 Production, ALSC Blog.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Dear Travis,

    What a lovely surprise your review of Baby Bear Sees Blue was at the end of a hard day. Thank you, Ashley

  2. Ah, so beautiful, the book and the writer/illustrator. So happy to discover this. Thank you.

  3. Mary Gregory says:

    Looks like you’ve created yet another wonderful, beautiful book. Can’t wait to get it for my granddaughter!