Hush Little Polar Bear

by Jeff Mack (Author) Jeff Mack (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

AN IMPOSSIBLY CUDDLY BABY POLAR BEAR travels from one magical place to another. "Hush baby polar bear. Sleep in the snow, and dream of the places where sleeping bears go."

Readers follow a baby snow-white plush polar bear that has been brought to life by his owner's imagination from the back of a whale with the sea spray surrounding, to a land of tall grass where butterflies float by up into the sky itself...and happily right back through the window into the loving arms of his owner asleep in bed.

Mack's lush and lovable illustrations suit the lulling, rhyming text to make a perfect bedtime book sure to leave readers and listeners with warm and fuzzy feelings read after read.

School Library Journal

Following the rhythm and rhyme of "Hush Little Baby," a young girl sings a lullaby to her toy bear: "Hush little polar bear./Sleep in the snow,/and dream of the places/where sleeping bears go." As the two of them drift off to sleep, they dream of sailing the high seas, chasing butterflies, bouncing through cow pastures, creeping through a cave, swinging from a vine, and so on until, soaring through the sky, they return home to cuddle in bed. The richly textured spreads are bright and imaginative, perfectly complementing the simple, lyrical text. Begging to be sung, this will be a natural choice for bedtime or teddy-bear-themed story hours.

Copyright 2008 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publisher's Weekly

In his first solo outing, Mack (illustrator of the Bunnicula series) sends an eager-looking polar bear on a series of dreamtime adventures: "Swim through a waterfall./ Splash in a stream./ Paddle past rainbows/ that glisten and gleam." Big, rounded shapes and pastel-tinted spreads encourage calm, while rhythmic verses describe action. The polar bear looks like a real cub; the ending reveals him (her) as a stuffed animal snuggled in the arms of the girl who, presumably, is the narrator. She's right behind the polar bear in every spread, watching over him; in Mack's cheerful, fuzzy acrylic paintings, they travel across the ocean, through a rain forest, a desert, and up into the sky before ending safely in bed. "Then look right beside you,/ and that's where I'll be," she promises the bear. Giving the child character the speaking rather than the listening part neatly reverses lullaby convention. Ages 2-6.

Copyright 2008 Publisher’s Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Jeff Mack
Originally from Syracuse, NY, Jeff Mack ( grew up fascinated by monsters and robots. He built his own pinball machines from cardboard boxes, and created comic books about his four siblings being devoured by monsters. Now at home in Western Massachusetts, he continues to write, paint, and talk with school groups about his various projects. Jeff is the author/illustrator of such books as Good News Bad News and Ah Ha! Follow @jeffmackbooks
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date
November 20, 2013
Wilson's Children, 10/01/10

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