Anyone who has ever misplaced something important at one point will agree that the time between discovering the loss (even a temporary one) of the item and eventually — in best-case scenarios — retrieving it unscathed, is always agonising, involving obsessive tracing back of steps, wild conjectures and frantic searches even in the most unlikely places — juuust in case.
Hence, we can all probably relate to the unnamed protagonist in Maybe a Bear Ate It!, who panics upon misplacing a beloved book and allows his imagination to run absolutely wild — like (gasp!) maybe a bear ate it, or a stegosaurus stomped on it! — which makes for some hilariously entertaining illustrations.
When he eventually calms down and begins searching for his book in earnest, though, he does find it, and his relief and joy are both palpable and infectious.