Written by Susan Meyers, Illustrated by Amy Bates
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2010
This is the bear that went for a ride.
The plot in a nutshell: A dropped bear has a big adventure.
The stuffed bear falls out of the stroller and the baby’s mother looks around, but doesn’t see him. A dog finds him and runs off with him, dropping him on the beach. A wave takes him out to sea, where a seal pulls him deep underwater. He drifts back to the surface and is scooped up by a pelican diving for fish. The pelican sneezes and the bear falls back to the ground, where he’s found by a lady doing laundry. She hangs him up to dry and the mother walking her baby spots him on the clothesline and returns him to her son. As the baby drifts off to sleep hugging the bear, the bear knows he’s home to stay.
Today’s story shares some plot points with Blanket and Bear, A Remarkable Pair which I reviewed last week, but this one has a very different ending. Author Susan Meyers takes us on a roller coaster ride with this lost bear, under the sea and high in the air, all in a short span of time and his reunion with his owner happens on the same day that he was lost. It illustrates the idea that you never know what others have been through in the times that you’re apart, which is an important thing to keep in the back of your mind. Amy Bates’ illustrations are done in pencil and watercolor, which are the perfect medium for drawing the seaside and boardwalk settings depicted here. Keep your eyes open for the little red crab that shows up on many of the pages, unwittingly becoming part of the bear’s adventure. It’s a short and simple story, but there’s a lot of likeable stuff here.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that life can take you in lots of different directions, but you generally end up where you’re supposed to be.