cover image Maybe a Bear Ate It!

Maybe a Bear Ate It!

Robie H. Harris, , illus. by Michael Emberley. . Scholastic/Orchard, $15.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-439-92961-5

A wide-eyed critter of indeterminate species, surrounded by an elaborate bedtime ensemble of stuffed animals, is cuddled up with his favorite book. But in the middle of a big yawn, he inadvertently and unknowingly kicks the book under his bed. Readers will easily spot it (the bright red volume juts out from one of the bed’s front legs), but the critter would much rather give in to wild speculation than actually hunt for it. “Maybe a BEAR ate it!” he shrieks, and Emberley (paired with Harris for It’s So Amazing! ) imagines a scowling hulking ursine beast attacking the volume with a fork. Or maybe a shark consumed it; but at least all the sea creatures in its stomach can enjoy circle time. This is really more of a skit than a story, but it has a sound and effective unspoken message about not jumping to conclusions and taking responsibility for one’s belongings. Besides, Harris and Emberley are clearly having so much fun that their enjoyment is infectious. Ages 3-5. (Jan.)