CHILDREN’S BOOK REVIEW: Three Bears in a Boat

TITLE: Three Bears In A Boat
AUTHOR: David Soman
PUBLISHER: Dial Books
ISBN: 978-0803739932
DOP: May 20th, 2014 (hardback)
AGE RANGE: 3-5 years,

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As a father of two young, bright children ages three and six, I am always on the lookout for books that appeal to them as well as myself. For my daughter, the older, that is chapter books that tell of adventure and mystery and occasionally a little age appropriate horror. My son, the younger, wants books that appeal to his great loves: trains, bears, boats and Godzilla. The book Three Bears in a Boat combines two of his great loves, and was a surprise hit with my daughter as well.


The story is excellent. Three bear siblings, Charlie, Theo and Dash, accidentally break a memento of their mother’s. Rather than explain to her what happened and take punishment, they decide that they must go forth and procure her another one. To that end, they board their little boat and go in search of a replacement item, only to find that what they were looking for was a lot closer that they originally thought.


David Soman is the co-creator of Ladybug Girl, a series of children’s books he illustrates with his wife Jacky Davis. Here he takes on writing duties as well as art, and I must say that he handles it wonderfully. The illustrations are beautiful and imaginative. They capture the child’s attention and there is enough story to keep that attention and inspire a positive reaction. The bear children all have different attitudes and personalities, and it comes across well, as my children actually commented on instances when they themselves had acted or reacted in much the same way as the bears, especially during the storm portion of the story. They identified with it and saw a little of themselves and others they knew within the books pages. The story teaches a subtle lesson even while it captures their imagination and entertains them. If all children’s books did this as well as Three Bears in a Boat, we would have a whole generation of children reading to simply be entertained.

But fear not, there are things for parents to discover and share with their children as well, little Easter Eggs that the astute among us should pick up on. Here’s a hint: Look at the names of the boats. Explaining the names to my daughter opened up a whole new venue of interest for her.

One of the best things that can be said about a children’s book is that the child enjoyed it. After having read it for several nights to my son, I discovered that the book had disappeared. After a quick search I found my daughter under the covers of her bed with a flashlight reading it to herself. She had managed to sneak it out of her brother’s room and hide it all day, and stated that it was around the fourth time she had read it that night. Now we have a time-sharing agreement on the book and joint bedtime reading session to satisfy all involved.


Choosing a children’s book for your child can be hard. You want one that will keep their interest as well as is enjoyable to read for the parent. Three Bears in a Boat is one of those books. The art is wonderful, the lessons subtle, and a joy to read to your child. If it doesn’t win at least one award inthe upcoming season, I’ll be sorley disappointed.

I highly recommend it for your child or for friends with children.

Here is a link to check it out on Amazon, buy it now and you can be the one to introduce it to your friends and their children.

Three Bears in a Boat

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