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The Picture Book Buzz

The Picture Book Buzz - Review of Eat Up, Bear!

In celebration of National Parks Week, I'm doing a review of a fun new board book, which released last week.

Eat Up, Bear!

Author: Terry Pierce

Illustrator: Nadja Sarell

Publisher: Yosemite Conservancy (2021)

Ages: 0 - 3



Nature, camping, bear interactions, and environmental stewardship.


Curious, hungry black bears just want to eat!

Juicy berries, crunchy nuts, tender grubs, sticky honey—that’s good bear food. But if little park visitors and their families don’t watch out, their food will be bear food, too!

The bouncy rhyming text and vibrant pictures in this board book show how people of all ages can help keep bears safe and thriving.

Opening Lines:

Many People. Many Bears.

Sharing spaces everywhere.

But bears are hungry. Clever, too.

Take care or bears will eat your food.

What I liked about this book:

Sporting a wonderfully diverse cast of campers and hikers, bright, colorful images, and realistic, though slightly cartoony bears, Terry Pierce and Nadja Sarell have created a captivating board book with the Yosemite Conservancy designed with the purpose of helping children (and their parents) learn how to safely enjoy nature. And help ensure that the bears who live there remain wild and safe, too.

Text © Terry Pierce, 2021. Image © Nadja Sarell, 2021.

Demonstrating proper food storage & disposal actions, the hikers and campers show how people and bears can "shar[e] spaces everywhere." Strategically using the gutter and a repetitive refrain - "There, there. Eat up Bear! Good bear food is everywhere" - the illustrations expands on the sparse text to show what bears really should eat - berries, grubs, fish, nuts, ants, and honey. And how mischievous they can be. As well as offering fun scenes with the other animals and plant species that exist in Yosemite (and other forests).

Text © Terry Pierce, 2021. Image © Nadja Sarell, 2021.

This is a good book for reminding parents of our responsibilities not only toward bears, but all of nature. One to encourage people to get outside and enjoy all the varied and beautiful national parks our country has to offer. While also showing how everyone can play a part (no matter how small) in keeping bears (and other animals) safe, healthy, and wild.


- make a bear (or two) finger puppet. What good food does your bear eat? (

- get outdoors for a walk, a hike, or camping trip. Record the animals you see and what they eat.

- read more about bears and proper food storage (

- check out a fun interview with Terry Pierce about creating Eat Up, Bear! (


Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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