cover image The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

Julia Sarcone-Roach. Knopf, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-85860-4

“By now I think you know what happened to your sandwich,” begins the unseen narrator of Sarcone-Roach’s (Subway Story) sly tale. “But you may not know how it happened.... It all started with the bear.” The narrator spins a long, involved story about how a bear found its way to the city (and the sandwich), while warm, painterly acrylics show what’s really going on. The bear finds himself a stowaway on a berry truck that passes “high cliffs” (readers see tall buildings) and arrives in “a new forest” (a lively city street). He makes the city his own, shinnying up fire escapes and riffling ruinously through the papers outside a newsstand, then arrives in the park: “There it was. Your beautiful and delicious sandwich. All alone.” The bear gobbles it down and returns to bear country by boat. Or so the storyteller says—he’s revealed to be the young sandwich owner’s dog, and he might not be entirely trustworthy. The fabricated story and accompanying artwork stand nicely on their own, while the narrative frame delivers an extra comic kick in the pants. Ages 3–7. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeeen Literary Management. (Jan.)