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Animal Theme/Character, Early/Young Readers, Picture Book, Star of the North nominee

THE BEAR ATE YOUR SANDWICH by Julia Sarcone-Roach…2016-17 Star of the North nominee

bear ate your sandwichI was unenthusiastic about The Bear Ate Your Sandwich until the end.  I thought it was boring during my first read-through.  Because the narrator is in question it was ineffective as a story for me until the final pages.  I have to say, though, that when the narrator is revealed the story takes on a different depth.  Once I reached the end I went back and re-read the story again, enjoying it much more the second time–which is unusual, at least for me.

I am always in favor of a good “surprise” ending, but I’m not sure that the device works in this book for the reason I mentioned above.  I’m not sure how it would play out for a young reader/listener and I plan to try it out with a young audience to see if their reaction is different from mine.

The pictures are striking and definitely keep your eyes on each page.  Although the illustrations are done with acrylic paint and pencil outlines they have some of the fuzzy, indefinite feel of watercolors.  The color palette of reds, greens, yellows and browns are remind me of The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Woods–although those illustrations are richer in tone.  If your young readers like The Bear Ate Your Sandwich, I highly recommend The Little Mouse as well.

All in all this is an okay read-aloud/independent choice for young readers.  If you have a reader who enjoys stories with bears as featured characters I would use The Bear Ate Your Sandwich as a stepping stone into the My Friend Bear stories by Jez Alborough.

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