When Dash, Theo and Charlie accidentally break their Mama Bear’s very special blue seashell, they decide that the only way to save their skins is to find her a new one before she finds out. So they set off in their sailboat on an epic journey to a distant island rumored to have just what they need. But after searching from the deepest ocean to the highest tree to the darkest cave, the 3 bears find no trace of a blue seashell and are forced to make their grumpy way back home. However, the return voyage proves to be much rougher than they bargained for, and Dash, Theo and Charlie end up huddled together in their little boat, wishing for nothing more than to get safely home so they can give their Mama Bear a hug and tell her the truth.
We picked this book up at the library last week and I knew the minute I saw it that I would love it. The picture on the front is just what I love the most in children’s book illustrations. It’s just beautiful, something I would love to have on my walls, and something that just draws me in and leaves me daydreaming. It really evokes emotion for me- nostalgia and adventure, homesickness and comfort, longing and joy- all at the same time. David Soman is an artist, and it’s the art, even more than the story, that I find so intriguing about Three Bears and a Boat. My girls were really drawn to the pictures as well. There’s one where the bears are underwater, looking for the seashell, and an octopus is looking on indignantly with 2 of its tentacles on its hips. My 4 year old dies laughing every time. All that being said, the story is really beautiful, too. I have 3 kids, and they all seem to have their unique role in adventures and playtime and mishaps, just like Dash, Theo and Charlie. They make mistakes, they try to set things right, they get in over their heads, and they always come running home with pretty words and penitent hearts. And, being a mother, I always look at each one, hug them very, very tight, kiss the tops of their heads, and forgive them. But sometimes they don’t get any dessert.
To find out if this book is at your public library, visit World Cat.
To find of list of David Soman’s books, visit his Goodreads site.