Where is Bina Bear? by Mike Curato

The description:
Tiny is having a party, but Bina Bear is nowhere to be found. Is that Bina hiding under a lampshade? It looks like Bina . . . but it must be a lamp. Is that Bina beneath the fruit bowl? It could be . . . but it’s probably just a table.

Searching for Bina, Tiny realizes something is wrong―and sets out to make it right. This is a humorous yet sincere picture book about friendship, understanding, and embracing our loved ones just as they are.

The reviews:
“Inclusion and representation are always present in Curato’s thoughtful picture books, and this story is a sweet, sincere, and playful approach to discussing shyness. And while Curato is constantly expanding and evolving stylistically as an artist . . . the heart of his books remains consistently warm.” ―Booklist

“Even the most outgoing child will learn to empathize with those that don’t have fun in crowds . . . Imbued with understanding and overt silliness.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“A refreshing change from the usual “the more, the merrier” message often seen in picture books, and . . . a useful reminder to respect the boundaries of both shy people and shy bears.” ―The Bulletin

The Five Things I Love About This Book:
  • The heart. I love Bina, and I love her pal Tiny! This book is such a wonderful celebration of accepting and appreciating friends just as they are.
  • The humor. This book offers humor in both the art and the text as Bina tries to hide in plain sight.
  • The relatability. I think we all have had (many) moments in which we weren’t up to being in a group situation. When readers can relate to a book, readers can easily connect with a book.
  • The surprise cameos. This is just one of them…
  • The best usage of groceries in a picture book of all time. (You will have to get the book, and see this for yourself.)

Naturally, this post about a party comes with a party favor–check out this wonderful post from author/illustrator Mike Curato about the inspiration and creation of Where is Bina Bear?

Tammi Sauer

Tammi Sauer, a former teacher and library media specialist, is a full-time children's book author who presents at schools and conferences across the country. She has more than 30 published picture books and has many others on the way. Her books have received awards, earned starred reviews, made lists, been made into musicals, and been translated into many different languages. Most importantly, kids really like her books! To learn more about Tammi and her books, please visit tammisauer.com and follow her on Twitter at @SauerTammi.


  1. Where is this book? I want it! Congrats on what appears to be a sweet and funny read! Well done. 🙂

  2. I absolutely love this book. One of the many reasons why is that unlike so many in the genre, Tiny does not coax or wheedle Bina to change and “join the party.” Instead, Tiny chooses to be with their friend in the way Bina needs at that moment…even if that means maybe having to temporarily don a lampshade disguise. So lovely.

  3. Awww thanks Tammi!!!

  4. As Grandma to two autistic children, i already love this book!

  5. The description, the reviews, and the five reasons to love this book=I want this book!

  6. This will be a great book for any collection! Accepting people right as they are is so important!

  7. I can’t wait to read this book! Heart and humor for shy people, plus those gorgeous illustrations ~ congratulations, Mike!

  8. Hysterical!!! Can’t wait to read.

  9. A book about accepting loved ones just as they are…Ahh! Sounds delicious!

  10. Congratulations Mike!!! Aw, I’ve felt like Bina Bear and how great it is to have a friend like Tiny. Love the pictures and the story-behind-the-story. Thanks Tammi.

  11. Oh, I love it! The voice is wonderful! Cracks me up.

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