The Bear Who Shared by Catherine Rayner
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2011
Meet Norris, my new favorite bear. He's very cute, and very wise...so wise, that he knows plorringes are the best fruit of all, and that if he waits under the plorringe tree, something special will happen. He waits, very patiently, for his fruit to fall. He waits lying on his back, one leg crossed over the other, with his arm across his chest. He waits lying on his stomach, head propped up on one hand, looking like he is drumming the fingers (claws?) on his other. Did I mention he is very cute?
However, in the tree, above the plorringe, are Tulip and Violet, a mouse and a raccoon, who also want the plorringe. It looks delicious, and smells of "honey and sunny days." Just as they decide to take a lick of the fruit, WHOMP! It falls on Norris and his wait is over. But what about Tulip and Violet? Luckily, Norris is not only wise, but also kind, and he knows just what to do.
I really like that while this has a sweet message about sharing, it's not a beat-you-over-the-head type of message. The illustrations, ink sketches filled in with watercolors, are absolutely gorgeous! From Rayner's website, it looks the background (the tree) may be a silk screen print. The effect is just perfect, and better still, the pictures are large enough for this book to work well with a big storytime group.
Reviewed from library copy