Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Julia Sarcone-Roach
Illustrator: Julia Sarcone-Roach
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
A hungry bear is lured into a berry filled truck where he falls asleep. The truck takes him to a new forest that looks suspiciously like a town. He explores all of the sights and smells as he wanders through the concrete forest and even tries the slide in the playground. And there. In the park. Is a tempting, sumptuous sandwich in a lunchbox. Bear can't help himself—he sneaks the sandwich and swallows it whole. He turns to discover that several dogs have seen him devour the delight! He runs away and sees his forest in the distance. He returns home and settles down for some sleep in his den. The final pages show that a dog is telling his little girl this story. Maybe a bear didn't eat that sandwich after all.
The pictures are delightful! The bear has so much personality in his expressions and movements that he seems to dance across each page. The colors are warm, inviting and bright making the artwork is a joy to ponder all on its own. Especially appealing are the images of the bear stretching in yoga-esque poses as he wakes and a sequence of images as he sneaks up on the sandwich as if it is aware of his presence. The story goes for the giggles and these images in particular add a wonderful sense of delight and humor. The silliness continues with the twist at the end where it is revealed that the real thief is the little girls own dog. This a wonderful book with fantastic illustrations and a fun surprise at the end.