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Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club:  Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at


See reviews of Ms. Cole's books at


Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com

Contact Ms. Cole for School Author Visits, locally in-person, or by SKYPE.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Bad Mad Sad Day for Mama Bear by Mayra Calvani Illustrated by K.C. Snider

A Bad Mad Sad Day for Mama Bear, by Mayra Calvani and illustrated by K.C. Snider, is a sweet book about a problem day for mother and child. Mama Bear has one bad thing after another happen in her busy day. We can all relate to that. We’ve had days when we drop things, when the car won’t start, when we spill things, when things tip over, and we miss something important. Then we pick ourselves up and carry on in spite of these mishaps. Mama Bear does the same. However, in her coping and dealing with one bad thing after another, she forgets one very important little person – Baby Bear. He’s right there trying to offer support and comfort in unseen ways. Will Mama Bear slow down long enough to notice how he’s trying to help?
The story is fanciful and full of fun language.  There’s repetition, alliteration, onomatopoeia, and even slapstick.  Here are some examples:

Everything was going from bad to worse for Mama Bear today. At breakfast she burned the sizzling sardines, and a spatter of grease stung her paw ... OUCH!

Then while scrubbing the dishes, she dropped a cup and ... CRASH! It smashed to smithereens on the floor. “Oh no, my favorite tea cup!”

Some situations are downright silly, but will make reading aloud that much more enjoyable for reader and listener.
A very special part of this story is K.C. Snider's artwork. She has done an amazing job of telling this story in pictures. The action is vivid, the colors and characters vibrant and alive. The humor of the story, married with the artwork, leaps off the page. After seeing the illustrations, you can’t imagine the story any other way. With so much to read and see on every page, it is truly captivating - a delight for eye and ear.

A Bad Mad Sad Day for Mama Bear is about how an ordinary day can have small and large catastrophes and challenges.  We’ve all had very bad and even horrible days, but somehow we get through them.  In the midst of these little and big daily problems, we pick up the pieces and still find things to appreciate and be thankful for -- like the loving gestures of our sweet children, and the support of our partners and friends.

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  1. Sounds like a fun book for kids. I wish you much success Mayra. Thanks Penny.

    1. Thanks, Sue, I appreciate your comments and support!

  2. What a cute idea! Great illos too. Like your review Penny.

    1. Hi Tracey, thanks for stopping by with nice comments. Wishing Mayra and K.C. much success with this cute book.

  3. Replies
    1. Hi Jan, thanks for your comments! It is a charming book.

  4. Thank you so much for your wonderful review, Penelope! I really appreciate it!

    Thank you all for your kind comments!

    1. Hi Mayra, it's a great book and I wish you much success! Thanks for being so supportive!

  5. Excellent review - best of luck with the book, Mayra and K.C. Sounds and looks like a winner!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Melissa. It's a fun book and should be well-loved.