Monday, November 3, 2008

Book Review: Maybe a Bear Ate It! by Robie H. Harris

Book: Maybe A Bear Ate It!
Author: Robie H. Harris
Illustrator: Michael Emberley
Published: 2008

Oh dear. Ohhhhh deeeeear. His book is gone. It's totally AWOL. What can have happened to his book? How can he possibly go to sleep without his book?!?

I love books like this, that allow me to shriek, holler, and make silly faces while telling a story that's instantly recognizable to kids and parents alike. The nameless narrator conjures up all sorts of terrifying fates (a bear's teeth! An elephant's behind!) and looks in several unlikely places before finding his book just where he last saw it. (Well, unlikely unless you're me, in which case a washing machine and the sock drawer are utterly logical places to misplace a book.)

Robie Harris is probably best known for her classic puberty text, It's Perfectly Normal. Until I read an interview over at Fuse #8, I didn't realize she was also a crackin' good picture-book writer. She lets the narrator's flight of imagination go on just long enough before bringing the story back to earth as he starts his book hunt.

Michael Emberley's illustrations expand on Harris's spare prose. The narrator (possibly a raccoon?) chases all over the page with the energy and exuberance of your average four-year-old before falling asleep at the very end. This book's going right on my Storytime Favorites shelf.

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