Three Bears in a Boat – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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Three-Bears-500x500Title: Three Bears in a Boat

Written and illustrated By: David Soman

Published By: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014, Fiction

Themes/Topics: boating, bears, adventure

Suitable for ages: 3-7


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

Synopsis: Three bear siblings are up to some mischief when they smash their mama’s favorite blue shell. Instead of feting up they decide to set sail in their boat to try and find a replacement and avoid punishment. The cubs set off for a high seas adventure meeting some pretty peculiar sailors along the way, receiving intriguing advice and encountering big whales, weird islands and an epic storm. Their search takes them far and then back home with? Well you’ll have to read and find out.

Why I like This Book: I love the individuality of the three bears depicted through their words and the illustrations. Nearly all children will relate to avoiding a telling-off, trying to make repairs and a very subtle learning process for these delightful cubs. The end reminds me of Where the Wild Things Are and it definitely has some Sendak inspiration though with more sweetness woven into the relationships, search and beautiful misty sea illustrations. This picture book has an evergreen feel to it, and one I imagine will be requested many times. I saw David on a panel at Books of Wonder in New York in June and was inspired by his early childhood fascination with bears gleaned from his days at the Natural History Museum just two minutes walk from me!



The whale scene is gorgeous and this could be paired with If You want to see a Whale, The Storm Whale and Following Papa’s Song.

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 here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

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16 Responses to Three Bears in a Boat – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Thank-you for sharing the lovely interior spread. The illustrations are magnificent, and it sounds as if the story is one my kids will love. Thanks.

  2. I am actually drawn to this because of the title (sounds like a play on Jerome K. Jerome’s classic book). 😉 And the art is really wonderful! Sounds like a fun read; I’ll definitely look for this one.

  3. I’m so glad you reviewed this book, Joanna! I’ve seen it, but haven’t read it yet, and I’ve been curious as to whether it’s good or not. I’m familiar with Ladybug Girl etc. and have met Jackie and David and heard them speak. Now that I’ve seen your review, I’ll have to be sure to read this!

  4. I can’t wait to see how it reminds you of the Where the Wild Things Are. I like the idea that it may be a little more sweet. Thanks for sharing this one.

  5. I like this book…and messing around in boats! Nice pick, Joanna!

  6. This sounds like a book you’d select! What a delightful story for kids who will be eager to find out how they fix their problem. The cover and illustrations look beautiful! Great choice!

  7. rhythm says:

    I’ve had this book on my list – I like the thought of going out in a boat! Thanks for the review!

  8. Joanna says:

    Maybe he could write a sequel, Three Bears and a Dog in a Boat, Rhythm?!

  9. This sounds amazing! 😀 Love the cover illustration!

  10. What an imaginative story. The whale spread is just fantastic, Joanna.

  11. My library has it!! Yippee. It looks just precious, Joanna. Thanks for adding it to the list. I can’t wait to read it 🙂

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