About the Holiday
I have to confess that the origins of this holiday are unknown, but the purpose is just to have a little fun. Sure, for 24 hours confusion may reign supreme, but today can give you good practice in learning not to believe everything you hear. If you’re going to participate, keep your confessions light and “jokey.” Maybe play the game Three Truths and a Lie with friends or coworkers. Just remember there are certain things you should never falsely confess—a crime, something that may result in injury, or false claims that hurt feelings. It may also be a day to help someone out. Instead of playing the “blame game,” accept a little responsibility—even if it’s not yours. But making a false confession for someone else? Hmmm…let’s see what happens in today’s book!
The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
By Julia Sarcone-Roach
So, something happened to your sandwich? Well… “it all started with the bear. When the bear woke up and left his den for his morning exercises, he caught a whiff of ripe berries in the back of a pickup truck. After eating his fill, he fell asleep in the bed of the truck. He woke once again to find himself “being quickly swept along like a leaf in a great river. The forest disappeared in the distance and high cliffs rose up around him.” The city was a forest like he had never seen before.
Still, he found many similarities to home. The fire escapes, clothes lines, and roofs offered challenging places to climb, the lamp posts scratched his back just fine, and there was a new sidewalk that was just as squishy as the mud in the forest. This forest also had many intriguing smells, but each time the bear explored one he found someone else had gotten there first. He continued to follow his nose and discovered a playground full of fun things to do. He was at the top of the slide “when he saw it.”
“There it was. Your beautiful and delicious sandwich. All alone.” The bear was wily, though. “He waited to make sure no one saw him (not even the sandwich) before he made his move.” Feeling safe the bear grabbed that sandwich and gobbled it all up. But he was just licking his lips when he heard a “sniff, snuffle, slobber, snort behind him.” He turned around to find four canine witnesses to his misdeed.
He fled the scene, loping down the street to the nearest tall tree and escape. From the top of this telephone pole, he could see way down the river to his own forest. He stowed away on a boat and fell asleep to its gentle rocking. “When he opened his eyes, he heard the breeze in familiar branches and the birds’ and bugs’ evening song.” He was home.
“So. That’s what happened to your sandwich.” Really! I was there—“I saw it all.” I even tried to save your sandwich, but all I could retrieve was this tiny piece of lettuce. I know you’re disappointed, and “I’m sorry to have to tell you about your sandwich this way, but now you know….” Would your own puppy pal lie to you?
Julia Sarcone-Roach knows how to spin a yarn. Her clever and funny confessional story will have kids’ glued to the eye-witness testimony of a bear who is both sympathetic and a scoundrel according to the report. The surprise ending will make readers laugh—especially if they have mischievous siblings, friends, or pets. Sarcone-Roach’s vibrant, gauzy illustrations echo the fantastical imagination of the sly Scottie while giving vibrant life to the forest and city. Her depictions of the bear performing his morning exercise ritual, clambering across apartment buildings, encountering his competition for scraps, and attempting the playground equipment are endearing, and his utter astonishment at being caught is a comical joy.
Ingenious clues sprinkled throughout the pages may lead some skeptical readers to doubt the veracity of the story, but the ending is delightfully satisfying and unexpected to all—except, perhaps, for the pup’s owner.
The Bear Ate Your Sandwich is a fun, charming, (mis?)adventure that kids will giggle through and ask for over and over. It would make a favorite addition to home libraries.
Ages 3 – 8
Knopf Book for Young Readers, 2015 | ISBN 978-0375858604
Discover so much more by Julia Sarcone-Roach on her website—including books, illustration, film, and more!
False Confession Day Activity
Find the Truth Maze
A false confession can lead you to a maze of fun—or trouble! Can you make your way through this printable Find the Truth Maze?
Picture Book Review