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: Bird Girl - Gene Stratton-Porter Shares Her Love of Nature With the World, Parrotfish Has a Superpower, Stinkbird Has a Superpower, Sea Turtle Swims, Kangaroo Hops, Jack Knight's Brave Flight, We Love Babies!, 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 2025: Polecat Has a Superpower!, It's Corn-Picking Time!, Giraffe Runs. 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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