The Bear Who Wasn't There AKA The Duck Who Showed Up
The very first book that I reviewed on this blog was about a duck and a bear, I Love You Already by Jory John and Benji Davis. I simply loved that book and it's predecessor, Goodnight Already! So it pleased me to no end to pickup LeUyen Pham's The Bear Who Wasn't There....except the bear never shows up!
Or does he?
Pham's version of a duck and bear relationship is hilarious. Duck is a storyteller, and is determined to be the star of this book. But the rest of the animals keep asking about Bear. And we readers do too!
That's right! Pham includes us in these escapades. What ensues is a fabulously hilarious interactive read that is a perfect read-aloud to young and old kids alike. I know there were a lot of giggles going on in the Bookworm household.
Pham creates a character in Duck who is both stubborn and determined, yet endearing all at once. And her renderings of the various animals, especially bear and the giraffe are animated and adorable. I can imagine your little one asking you to read this book over and over again, plus flipping back and forth between the pages to see where the duck or bear might be. And also to see what Duck is up to next!
Ages: Two and up.
Readability: A perfect read-aloud, as all picture books SHOULD be.
Bonus: Mr. Bookworm and the Bookworm girls met LeUyen Pham at the L.A. Times Festival of Books this year. I'm bummed that I missed out, but I was busy fangirling at a YA talk with Nicola Yoon. Pham not only signed our copy of The Bear Who Wasn't There, she drew a picture of Mini Me and Little Lion, with Duck encouraging them to buy more duck books, of course.
And, if you didn't know it already, Pham is the illustrator behind Shannon Hale and Dean Hale's The Princess in Black series. Plus she also illustrated Shannon Hale's graphic novel Real Friends, a must-read for girls everywhere.
[Spoilers for The Bear Who Wasn't There are posted in the gallery below. LeUyen Pham is delightful.]