The Picture Book Buzz

The Bear Who Wasn't There - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

A special book if you love books that break the fourth wall.

The Bear Who Wasn't There

Author: LeUyen Pham

Illustrator: LeUyen Pham

Publisher: Roaring Book Press, 2016

Age: 3 to 6 years

Fiction

Theme:

Humor, Book/story, animals, mystery

Synopsis (From Amazon):

This book is about Bear... so what happens when he doesn't show up on his page? Who will find him? Will it be Giraffe, who himself seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or Cow, or perhaps even the author herself?

One thing's for sure--it probably won't be Duck. Duck doesn't seem concerned that Bear is missing. In fact, he seems to be trying to steal the show for himself! Duck would much prefer that the reader pick up his own book, The Duck Who Showed Up. He even disguises himself as Bear in an attempt to fool the reader. But after pages and pages of Duck's antics and search-party chaos, Bear appears somewhere utterly unexpected. In fact, it looks like someone may have tried to get rid of him on purpose....

LeUyen Pham's The Bear Who Wasn't There takes readers [on] a hilarious search for the missing title character.

Opening Lines:

This is the story of the Bear who wasn't there.

WAIT.

This is not a bear.

Where is the bear?

(insert bear here)

WHAT DID I TELL YOU? NEVER TRUST A BEAR. THEY ARE TOTALLY UNRELIABLE. NOW, DUCKS, ON THE OTHER HAND, ALWAYS SHOW UP! HOW ABOUT I TELL YOU A NICE DUCK STORY?

Why I like this book:

I really enjoyed the kid humor and "behind the scenes" aspect of this book. Pham does an amazing job staying very cognizant of the child reader (as well as the adult). It contains elements reminiscent of DON'T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS and CHLOE AND THE LION, where the interrupting, persistent duck attempts to persuade everyone that ducks are better than bears. After all, they show up for the book. The narrator even pulls the author into the fray. The ingenious humor doesn't stop with the story. Be sure to check out the end pages, cover, and back of the dust cover. Definitely a don't miss picture book, besides you have to see if they ever find the bear.

Related Activities:

- Great book for testing predictions of the kid(s) - What about the paw prints, mysterious shapes, & deceiving signs? What are the mice up to?

- Create or practice word play and puns.

This post is a part of a series by authors and Kidlit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

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