Monday, October 12, 2015

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman

How do you manage to teach a moral lesson beautifully, thoughtfully and with affection?
With an absolutely gorgeous picture book.
David Soman's Three Bears in a Boat is one of these.

Soman is known as the creator of the popular, whimsical picture book series Ladybug Girl, but this book attempts a bigger, wide-as-the-open-sea format with lyrical text and illustrations that seem to swallow the reader whole. It's the story of three bears who accidentally break one of their mama bear's precious possessions, and instead of confessing and getting back on track, they sail away instead.
Their intention is to find a replacement for the blue seashell, and instead, they find adventure and danger. There are giant whales, caves, islands and other bears who have no idea of where they might find a blue shell. They go under the water, and through a terrible storm, and after all, they realize something: "They didn't care whose fault it was, they were all in the same boat." In this case, the pun fits.
And as they arrive at home, there it is, another blue seashell. And Mama, with supper, and hugs. But no dessert.
If you like stories that feature bears, you might enjoy Papa's Backpack, by James Christopher Carroll tells the poignant story of a little bear whose Daddy goes off to be a soldier,a great read for families in the military and Baby Bear, by award winning artist Kadir Nelson, about a baby bear who is wandering and lost, till he receives guidance and wisdom from other animals.

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