A Bear, a Truck, an Unreliable Narrator,
and Julia Sarcone-Roach (a Few Hours After Breakfast)

h1 January 7th, 2015 by jules


Author-illustrator Julia Sarcone-Roach is visiting 7-Imp today, you all, and it’s pretty much made my day.

Over at BookPage, I reviewed her newest picture book, The Bear Ate Your Sandwich, released just this week. The review is here, if you want to know my thoughts (I’m quite smitten with this book), and if you want to know more about the story.

Julia shares here at 7-Imp some spreads from the book, some dummy pages, and some behind-the-scenes peeks, too. She created the illustrations using acrylic paints and pencil, and I could stare at them all day. The colors, o! the colors!



Early Sketches and Final Art:


Early sketch and final spread: “By now I think you know what happened to your sandwich. But you may not know how it happened.
So let me tell you. It all started with the bear.”

(Click each image to enlarge)


Early sketch and final spread: “The morning air was warm and bright when the bear stepped out of his den. He stretched and sniffed. The scent of ripe berries drifted toward him and led to a wonderful discovery.”
(Click each to enlarge)


Early sketch and final spread:”By the time the bear opened his eyes, the buzzing had become a rumbling. He was being quickly swept along like a leaf in a great river.
The forest disappeared in the distance and high cliffs rose up around him.”

(Click each to enlarge)


(Click either image to see spread in its entirety)


“There it was. Your beautiful and delicious sandwich. All alone. He waited to make sure no one saw him (not even the sandwich) before he made his move.”
(Click to enlarge)


More Behind the Scenes …


Bear sketches
(Click to enlarge)


(Click to enlarge)


Julia: “The back cover has a mysterious shadow looming over a sandwich.
Before painting, I set up some lighting studies. For accuracy’s sake, I staged it with
a real lunchbox, and of course I used a real bear.”

(Click to enlarge)


Back cover sketch

Julia: “This is my assistant Holly, who is in charge of naps and biting.”



* * * * * * *

THE BEAR ATE YOUR SANDWICH. Copyright © 2015 by Julia Sarcone-Roach. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York. All images here are reproduced by permission of Julia Sarcone-Roach.

11 comments to “A Bear, a Truck, an Unreliable Narrator,
and Julia Sarcone-Roach (a Few Hours After Breakfast)”

  1. Can’t wait to read this one! Love seeing it in process!

  2. Looks great! Can’t wait to see it all together.

  3. There are so many things I love about 7 Imp but I think my favorite is the behind the scenes pictures 🙂 Thanks for sharing !

  4. LOVE this book – featuring it in an all-bear storytime coming up.

    Favorite parts include the Warren Zevon quote and, on the same page, the dog’s shadow that looks particularly bear-like.

  5. Truly adorable. I look forward to seeing the book!

  6. What a funny bear! Love the spread of the road entering the city and can’t wait to see the rest of the book. Thanks for sharing the early sketches!

  7. hilarious – what a great bear. Looking forward to it. And I am smitten with the Assistant, Holly.

  8. Julia, this book looks beautiful! I can’t wait to read it. I liked hanging out with you at that book fair in New Jersey last year.

  9. Found your book tonight at the library where I work in Colorado. Meant to be. Love your colorful work. Warren, Bay Area, sandwiches, everything. I want to see your short film, The Call of the Wild. Is it available?

  10. Brilliantly constructed story with beautiful art. I would have stopped with the concept of a bear hibernating so long that he wakes up in a city that grew around him, because I would have thought that in itself was enough to carry the story. But Julia took it so much further and did so much more. Thanks for a great story about a great story.

  11. Looks like a sparkling story with a wonderful bear and other sandwich eating creatures. Love the art here. Thanks again, Jules (and Julia.) Must get this one!

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