Title: I Thought This Was a Bear Book
Written by: Tara Lazar
Illustrated by: Benji Davis
Published by: Aladdin (S&S), 2014
Themes/Topics: aliens, Goldilocks and Three Bears, metaphysical mash up
Suitable for ages: 4-7
Once upon a time there were three bears.
An alien (Prince Zilch) crashes into the story of The Three Little Bears in a classic storybook mash-up!
The alien spins out of his story after a bookcase collapsing incident and lands in a weird world with talking bears desperate to eat blueberries instead of porridge. Prince Zilch asks the Bear family he encounters for help so he can get back to his storybook (p.27) and save his Planet Zero from total destruction before it’s too late.
Mama and Papa Bear come up with all kinds of ways to help the alien return to his planet using anything at hand like their mattresses and a homemade catapult (all from things the pesky blonde girl has broken). Goldilocks even joins in without much luck. Baby Bear finallycomes up with the perfect meta solution to get the prince out of their woods and back to Planet Zero.
Why I like This Book:
Kids will love the humor of the bear/alien mashup and a character arriving in the wrong book. This is most definitely a bear AND an alien book. The story is told entirely through snappy dialogue depicted through color-coded balloons. It is a busy, animated, action-filled story with some fun reader interaction. It is a new take on the fractured fairy tale theme with a great blend of outer space and traditional characters developed a little further,
Benji Davis’ illustrations are vibrant filling most of the space on each double spread with some humorous details for kids to spot.
Have kids write some crazy mashups (Yeti and the Gingerbread House, The Loch Ness Monster and Beauty and the Beast!)
Check out this interview with Benji Davies.
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.
Note: I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was received.