The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
written and illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach
2015 (Borzoi Books)
Source: Orange County Public Library
It all started with the bear.
This may be my favorite sandwich story since Ross Gellar's Moist-Maker. An unseen narrator sets out to tell the tale of how a sandwich went missing. As you see above, the blame is laid at the paws of an undernourished ursine. Said bear was doing what looks like tai'chi moves one morning when he spots an unattended pickup truck with boxes of berries in the bed. He crawls into the truck, feasts, and curls up for a nap. As he snoozes, the truck takes him into a different kind of forest. One that features tall buildings instead of tall trees. No problem. There are many enticing aspects to this new forest. Great smells like popcorn in the park and fun adventures like a merry-go-round and a slide thrill the bear. From the top of the slide, he spies two lonely slices of bread. Drawn by the call of the sandwich siren, the bear maneuvers toward the unprotected meal. Stealthy moves are employed to overtake it. As he finishes off his find, the bear notices that other animals have been watching him. Startled, he races out of the park and ends up on a boat that leads him back to his forest. So who made this eyewitness report? That is the most excellent surprise that awaits readers at the end of the story.
If you teach beginning lessons on types of narrators, this is a cute book to help you with that task. I also think this could be a nice small moment mentor text. Don't speed through the illustrations either. There are several funny little details. The Bear Ate Your Sandwich will amuse your primary readers who always like a surprise at the end. It's the text equivalent of the prize in the box of Cracker Jacks. Yes, I skew kind of old.