BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: You’re Snug With Me (available here)
Author: Chitra Soundar
Illustrator: Poonam Mistry
Publisher: Lantana Publishing
Publication Date: November 2018
Most Suitable for: Years 1-3
Reviewed By: Rachael Collins, Primary Teacher
This story follows a polar bear from when she gives birth to her cubs as winter sets in to caring for them as spring emerges. Each page shows the cubs’ curiosity about the world outside their den deep in the snow, with Mama Bear’s reassurance of “you’re snug with me.” With each worry that the cubs raise, Mama Bear’s response gently explains more about the habitat which they will become a part of. The repetitive style of the story makes it ideal for Key Stage One and a good choice of story to read aloud.
The illustrations throughout the story are stunning. Each page is made up of repeating patterns, forming both the animals in the foreground and the whole of the wintry setting making up the background. Illustrator Poonam Mistry uses colour selectively and carefully: all of the illustrations are made up of yellows, oranges, blues and greens and as spring approaches, the pages become brighter. Different snowflakes feature on almost every page and overall the illustrations throughout the book have a magical quality. My class of Year 3 children found them fascinating.
You’re Snug With Me would fit perfectly into a topic about animals and their habitats, particularly animals living in the Arctic. It could be helpful in making children value different parts of the world and make comparisons between their own environment and that of the bear and her cubs. It also lends itself to discussion about climate change: Chitra’s dedication at the beginning and the letter from her at the end emphasise the importance of working together to look after the planet we live on.
——————— See also: Our review of You’re Safe With Me by the same authors.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Rachael Collins for reviewing it.