Harris, R.H. (2008). Maybe a Bear Ate It! New York: Orchard Books.
30-Second Summary: A young cat who is all ready for bed can't find his (or her?) book and won't go to sleep until he (she? it?) finds it. The cat thinks of many imaginative creatures and places the book could have gone to.
The protagonist, who is a young cat, reminded me strongly of one of the Wild Things from Where the Wild Things Are. In a very cute way:
I imagine this was done very intentionally. And it kinda made the book for me. It also of course, lends itself to a parent or teacher sharing Where the Wild Things Are along with Maybe a Bear Ate It.
The illustrations also do an excellent job of foreshadowing all of the creatures the cat suspects could have taken his/her/its book in the form of the stuffed animals around the bed. I liked this touch since so many young children's imaginations are fueled by the objects in their immediate environments.
Since the cat LOVES his/her/its book, Maybe a Bear Ate It really encourages a love of reading and it promotes including reading as a regular part of the going-to-bed routine.
This book also centers on visual literacy, since the reader can tell early on where the cat's book has gotten to.
Also, since the story considers a number of unlikely places the book could have gotten to or unlikely creatures who could have taken it, a parent and child can come up with some unlikely places and beasties of their own.
Quotes of Note:
"Where--is--my book? I need my book!"
"Maybe a Bear ate it!"
"Well--I can't go to sleep without it! So I better go look for it!"
Tasty Rating: !!!