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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Book Chat: LeUyen Pham on Bear Came Along

I’m trying something new this year. Every time I read a book for kids I immediately put down my thoughts and a summary of it, for future use. Some books you read and you have to use such notes to even recall what they were about. Not today’s book. Here’s how I summarized the plot in my notes:

“Until… the bear fell in the water,

until…. the froggy met new friends,

until… you read this book, you’ll never see how sometimes navigating the unexpected can yield great and wonderful things.”

A bit on the poetic side, but what can I say? Bear Came Along by Richard T. Morris, illustrated by LeUyen Pham has that effect. Aside from the fact that it contains my favorite frog of the year (I am squarely in the camp of Team Horizontal Pupils) there’s the not insignificant fact that it’s one of those books that have a message but never bonk you over the head with it.

Today we feature the latest book chat between Victoria Stapleton of Little, Brown & Co. and the aforementioned Ms. Pham. And, if you are anything like me, then you will feel a little extra jolt of joy when you hear Victoria say, “Today we’re going to talk about the endpapers.” WOOHOO!

*chants* Process, process, process!

This is my favorite line, coming from Ms. Pham about her job as an illustrator: “It’s almost as if he grew a tree in a garden and didn’t allow any of the leaves to grow on it at all, it’s just the bare bones of a tree, and asked me to come in and decorate the tree. But without that strength of that tree, nothing would hold up on it.”

Thanks once more to Victoria and the folks at Little, Brown for the video.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.