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The Picture Book Buzz

Three Bears in a Boat - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

What would you do to fix a mistake? How far would you go? An exciting ocean adventure to try and fix a mistake, before anyone (especially Mom) finds out.

Three Bears in a Boat

Author/Illustrator: David Soman

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers (2014)

Ages: 3-5



Responsibility, honesty, forgiveness, animals, adventure, cooperation

Synopsis (From Amazon):

Three bear siblings break their mother’s favorite blue seashell, and rather than tell her, they decide to set out in their sailboat to find her a new one. On their quest they encounter salty sailors, strange new islands, huge whales, and vast seas but no blue seashells. When a treacherous storm suddenly blows in, the three bears find themselves tossed about in their little boat, far from Mama. What will become of their search, and what will it take to bring them safely home? This read aloud shares its best qualities with classic picture books: breath-taking illustrations, epic adventure, and a subtle message about taking responsibility for your actions.

Opening Lines:

Once there were three bears, Dash, Charlie, and Theo, who lived by the sea.

One day when there mother was out, the three bears did something they really shouldn't have, and with a crash, their mother's beautiful blue seashell lay scattered in pieces across the floor.

Why I love the book:

David Soman perfectly captures the child's guilty angst when a misconceived action destroys someone else's treasure. Three young bears set out on a voyage with a plan to replace mom's treasure before she finds out. They seek directions from three other infamous literary crews. I especially enjoyed the augmentation of the sparse text with the glorious illustrations, both vast and humorous, detailing the bears search for a replacement blue shell. As with all best laid plans, nothing works and the bears end up fighting and blaming each other. Though predictable, the ending is tender.

Related Activities:

- what boat can you build to hold the most bears? Try a couple of ideas.

- have you ever broken something that belonged to someone else? What did you do? What would you do now?

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture suggestions see Susannah Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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