November 9, 2015
I Thought This Was a Bear Book by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Benji Davies
I Thought This Was a Bear Book
by Tara Lazar
illustrated by Benji Davies
The Three Bears are out picking berries in a nearby crash announces a new presence in their story. Prince Zilch from Planet Zero has crash landed and needs to find a way back to his own story by page 27.
Mama and Papa Bear try to help Zilch climb to the top of the book where he might be able to climb out. They try bouncing him out of the book. They even try catapulting him out of the book, but nothing works. Finally Baby Bear, who has been unable to get anyone to listen to him through one attempt after another, shares his idea.
Zilch crashed into the book. The only solution is for him to crash back out and for this to happen the reader needs to give the book a good shake. Of course, if the young reader shakes too hard, there will be trouble.
Lazar has created a book that breaks the barrier between not only one story and another (Planet Zilch and the Three Bears) but also between the story and the reader. The characters in Lazar’s book fully understand that they are a part of a story. They understand that there are other stories. While no one discusses whether or not travel between stories is rare or common, no one is all that surprised when Zilch shows up.
Young readers who are more likely to identify with Baby Bear than Mama or Papa will love that it is the youngest member of the bear family that solves Zilch’s problem.
This would make an excellent story time book although you should expect some shouting out as various listeners ask to be the one to shake the book. That said, it would be worth the noise to get their ideas on how to get Zilch back into his own story. This would also make an excellent book for reading one-on-one.