Where’s the Bear by Charlotte Pomerantz – Book Review

Where's the Bear by Charlotte PomerantzThe front cover of Where’s the Bear? by Charlotte Pomerantz shows a group of peasants hiding in the trees of a big forest. Each person is holding a different item as they peek out from behind the large trees.

Cute drawings and bright colors are usually enough to keep my baby’s attention.

Arya didn’t mind that Where’s the Bear barely has any text.

Unlike more traditional books, Where’s the Bear tells a story through pictures rather than words. With 40 total words spread across 34 interior pages, readers must use the drawings to tell their own story.

For parents reading to their children, a book like Where’s the Bear requires more effort than traditional baby books. Rather than simply reading the words on the page, adults must provide extemporaneous detail based solely on the imagery.

This makes Where’s the Bear a great book for fostering interaction between parents and their children. The basic story is simple.

A woman picking berries in the forest runs back to town to warn everyone about a bear. The townsfolk grab various tools to use as weapons and creep into the forest looking for the bear. Once they see the bear they drop everything and rush back into the safety of their homes leaving the bear alone in the forest.

The drawings by Byron Barton are infinitely more important to Where’s the Bear than the text. The townspeople have big eyes and expressive faces. The huge brown bear looks cute despite his sharp white claws.

Arya liked the pictures at first, but there are only small changes between the scenes each successive page. She was still interested in each new page though her attention span grew shorter towards the end of the book.

Where’s the Bear is likely better suited for older children who can tell the story in their own words. The ideal age would be for kids who can’t yet read a full book, but are old enough to talk about the pictures.

Charlotte Pomerantz has a personal website where she lists her 35 children’s books. Several of her books have won children’s book awards including the Library of Congress, Children’s Book of the Year award for How Many Trucks Can a Tow Truck Tow?

The illustrator, Byron Barton, does not have a personal website. The website of one of his publishers has basic biographical information and a partial list of books.

Where’s the Bear is only available used and costs $3.99 before shipping from Amazon.