The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

Julia Sarcone-Roach’s new book, The Bear Ate Your Sandwich, is a delight. Why? First of all, the narrator is relating a little-bit-wacky story that readers/listeners will almost-but-not-quite doubt. It’s just crazy enough that it COULD be true, after all. A bear COULD have accidentally made his way to town and, through a nutty series of missteps, ended up at the park where of course he’d eat a stray sandwich just lying there for the taking.

It isn’t until the end of the book that you find out who the narrator is:  a sneaky fast talking dog who, in order to steer suspicion away from himself, has concocted this convoluted story to explain to a little girl what happened to her sandwich.

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
















The story is short and fun, and I REALLY appreciate that Ms. Sarcone-Raoch doesn’t hit readers/listeners over the head with the denouement, but lets them figure it out. A group would enjoy this, but it’s perfect as a lap book, too, because each page has fun details to discover and enjoy.

My favorite moment is near the end. The dog winds up his far-fetched tale and says:


That’s what happened

to your sandwich.

The bear ate it.

I adore that “So.” After the above spread, when his explanation is evidently met with silence, a page turn has the dog launching into the talk-too-much portion of a guilty party’s explanation. You know, when the big fat liar suspects his story isn’t holding water and starts blabbing and blathering? Yeah, that. I won’t reveal it here.

Just go find this one. You’ll be glad you did.

Jill Esbaum

Jill Esbaum

Jill Esbaum has been picture book crazy since her 3 kids were little, and especially so after her first was published in 2004 (Stink Soup). Recent titles: Stinkbird Has a Superpower, Jack Knight's Brave Flight, Where'd My Jo Go?, Frog Boots, How to Grow a Dinosaur, Frankenbunny, If a T. Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party, Elwood Bigfoot– Wanted: Birdie Friends!, Teeny Tiny Toady, I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo!, and more. Coming in 2024: Parrotfish Has a Superpower (a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection) and Bird Girl: Gene Stratton-Porter Shares Her Love of Nature with the World (another JLG Gold Standard Selection). She's also the author of many nonfiction books for young readers, as well as an early graphic reader series, Thunder & Cluck. Learn more at


  1. This sounds hilarious. Just put a hold on it. Thanks, Jill!

  2. This book was so funny–an absolute delight!

    • The weird thing is that I didn’t love it the first time through. It took another reading before I was hit by its cleverness. BAM. Loved it.

  3. Thank you, Jill! This sounds like a hoot. Can’t wait to read it.

  4. This sounds like a terrific way to introduce a lesson to my 7th graders about an unreliable narrator!

  5. I have been in looking at lots of ‘unreliable narrator’ books — what a great addition to the list!

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